Bp. Roche (Leeds, UK – head of ICEL): statement to priests on M.P. (10 Sept)

The head of ICEL, His Excellency Most Reverend Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, England, issued a statement to the clergy of that diocese on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

A WDTPRS reader made it available recently. I am just getting to it now.

Note that the name of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio is misspelled throughout as Pontificium instead of Pontificum.  Happily, this can be corrected in a corrected version.

My emphases and comments.

                        THE BISHOP OF LEEDS

10 September 2007  [Okay... we are a bit late in getting this.]

Confidential

Ad Clerum 7/07

Dear Father,

Summorum Pontificium

    The Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificium, which was issued by our Holy Father in July, comes into force on 14 September 2007.  As you will know, a Motu Proprio brings into effect new legislation for the whole Church.  [Which includes all of Leeds.]  The Motu Proprio was also accompanied by a letter from Pope Benedict XVI to all the bishops.  Both of these have been widely publicised and are now available in one booklet from the CTS.

    As the bishop of the diocese, with the responsibility of regulating the liturgical life of the whole diocese and with the pastoral care of all the faithful, I thought it would be useful to give you some clear direction with regard to the reading of this new legislation and to point out the main elements with which you need to be conversant.  [Okay... the Bishop is setting out to be helpful.  For which all the priests of Leeds ought to be grateful.]

    It must be stressed that the underlying purpose of this legislation is to restore unity within the Church and to offer those who, hitherto, have not accepted the liturgical reforms and perhaps the teachings of the Second Vatican Council a way back to full communion. [NO.  That is NOT the underlying purpose.  The underlying purpose is to help create a unity of continuity with in the liturgical tradition and practice of the Church so as to foster many consequences for the life of the Church, one of which is, hopefully, the unity of those whom he describes.] I have no evidence that there are large numbers of these people in this diocese, [I wonder if this is the case.  Have truly so few people in Leeds manifested in past years a desire for the older form of Mass?] nor ‘stable groups’ [There is that recurring bad translation... but this fellow heads ICEL... but I digress...] within any of our parishes, but I will return to this latter point later on in this letter.  Nevertheless, in addressing these issues, the Holy Father is providing clearer juridical directives concerning the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, thus regularising the practice regarding this form of celebration throughout the world especially where, unlike in our own country, provision for this celebration had not been made. [Don't let that phrase make anyone think that because there was an indult for England in the past, that therefore Summorum Pontificum has any less force in England.   The MP has equal force everywhere.]

    It is also important to note that the Holy Father intends to consult all the bishops of the Church regarding their experience of this legislation, in three years’ time.  [It is also important not to get the idea that because Benedict is interested in how things are going in three years time that therefore the MP is merely "provisional".  Many times prelates have sought to undermine documents from the Holy See by simply delaying until they are forgotten.  Cunctando regitur mundus.  "Oh... well... this is so important that we really have to study this document at length in order to determine best how to implement it.  This may take some time, so it would be better not to make any changes to present practice until we have studied and consulted."  Sound familiar?] So what I am stating here in this letter is of importance for you to have at hand; [Of course it is!] just as it is equally important for me to know from you what approaches regarding the Extraordinary Form may be made to you as Parish Priests.  [Huh?  What does this really say?  I think it means, but I am not sure, "I want to know what you are planning to do, or are doing, so that I know how I am going to treat you or concede to you."  Is that fair?  Overly cynical on my part?  Am I missing something?]

‘Ordinary’ & ‘Extraordinary’

The Holy Father makes it clear that there is only one Roman Rite with two forms: [I think this must be taken as a juridical solution to the problem, not a deeper statement of theological or historical importance.] the Ordinary Form (as found in the 1973 Missal of Pope Paul VI  [WHAT?  Correct me if I am wrong, but there IS NO 1973 edition!  There is the 1969/70, the 1975, the 2002.   It may be that as head of ICEL he is used to referring to the 1973 English translation of the 1969/70 edition.  That might be it.  However, this slip doesn't instill confidence in his ability to shed any additional light on Summorum Pontificum.  Again, if there is some other 1973 edition out there I don't know about, please correct me.]); and the Extraordinary Form (as found in the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII).  When the terms ‘extraordinary form’ or ‘extraordinary expression or usage’ are used in the document they refer to something beyond the ordinary, i.e., in addition to it, but not as a replacement of it.  And it is clear from the Motu Proprio that the Extraordinary Form may only be celebrated in addition to the Ordinary Form and not in its place.  I would not [behold, the "episcopal subjunctive"!] envisage within this diocese a parish that did not celebrate the Ordinary Form each day [Okay... that rules out his establishing a parish or oratory for its exclusive use.] and it would not be permissible to substitute Mass in the Extraordinary Form for one that would normally be in the Ordinary Form.  It must also be kept in mind that the canonical limitation of bination remains in place.  [Unbelievable.  This issue of bination is a virtually dead letter in every part of the world, in practice (which is very important for the interpretation of law).  Far and wide, I suspect, even in Leeds, there are priests who regularly celebrate two or three, maybe even more Masses on a regular basis because of pastoral demand.  Are we now to understand that His Excellency... His Lordship... will be reminding all the priests of that Archdiocese that the canonical limitation on bination is in force?  No more bination? Or is this simply a way of intimidating priests into not celebrating Mass a second time during the same day or adding a second Mass to their schedules no matter how many people request it?  Is this a threat?  A foundation for canonical process can be laid against them because they are binating?  Does this strike anyone as a double-standard?]

Masses Celebrated ‘Without People’

Any Catholic priest of the Latin Rite, in good standing with the Church, may celebrate Mass ‘without the people’ using either the Missal of Pope Paul VI or that of Blessed Pope John XXIII and may do so on any day of the year except during the Easter Triduum (Article 2).  It should be noted that Masses ‘without the people’ in either form (therefore, not public by their very nature although envisaged to be assisted by one other person) should not be advertised.  However, if people ‘of their own free will’ ask to be admitted to such a celebration (presumably spontaneously) they are to be permitted to do so (Article 4).  [It's just that they better not find out about it ahead of time.]

‘Stable Groups’ Within a Parish

In Article 5, the Holy Father expresses a concern for parishes in a diocese ‘where there is a stable group of the faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition’.  (Perhaps you would note the importance of the word ‘adhere’ in this sentence.)  If such a group within any one parish were to exist (and I am not aware of any in this diocese), the Parish Priest should willingly accept their request to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal, if he is qualified to do so, but this must always be ‘under the guidance of the bishop.’  Note that the ‘stable group’ referred to is from within a parish and not a gathering of people from the various parts of the diocese, and perhaps even beyond, who come together for a celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  This is already catered for at present within our diocese and I shall give further consideration to future provision.  [I believe that is not really in any local bishop's ability to give provisions that restrict what the Supreme Pontiff has provided.  The Pontifical Commission, which has competence in the matter, might make further provision.]

Celebrants of the 1962 Missal ‘Must Be Qualified’

Further, in Article 5 of the Motu Proprio, the Holy Father states that priests using the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII ‘must be qualified to do so’.  [Actually, since the Motu Proprio exists only in Latin, I think one should cite the Latin.  The MP says that a priest must be "idoneus".] Clearly this is important even for the celebration of Masses ‘without people’, but highly imperative for a more public occasion.  [Not just imperative, but "highly imperative".  Well... it is true.  It is important.] You will note in the document that this is not only a reference to knowledge of the Latin language and rubrics although that is, of course, highly importantIt is clear from the Holy Father’s letter that discernment regarding this matter belongs to me as the bishop.  [REALLY?  It is clear from the Holy Father's Motu Proprio?] I would expect, [I would point out another use of the "episcopal subjunctive"] therefore, to be approached by any priest wishing to celebrate this Mass not only for purposes of ensuring their qualification to do so, [And if they don't?  Remember... this is "episcopal subjunctive".  I might point out, that it would seem clear, that the priest, if he has faculties to say Mass, if he is judged idoneus to say Mass so that he has been given faculties, then he also has no need of any additional permission.  He is either idoneus or not.  If he is judged not qualified, then maybe he shouldn't say Mass in the Novus Ordo either... until he is tested and found idoneus.  Seriously, this just sounds like an exercise in intimidation.] but also to be kept fully appraised of what is happening in the diocese as well as to the experiences of the clergy.  [That's nice.]

Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Marriage & Anointing

Article 9 of the Motu Proprio gives Parish Priests permission [Does it give permission or does it simply declare that they have permission.  It is a picky distinction.] to use the earlier rituals for the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Marriage and Anointing of the Sick.  The use of these rituals falls under the same requirements as the celebration of Mass using the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII and, needless to say, I would wish to be informed.  There is some uncertainty regarding the civil form of marriage in the more ancient Rite, but I shall give you further information regarding this when that is clarified.  [This might be an English thing.  I don't know.  Perhaps an English priest or English lawyer can chime in on this point.] You will recall, however, that even prior to 1962 much of the Marriage Rite was celebrated in English.

Some Remaining Items

It is clear that there [sic] slight revisions will be made to the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII with additional Prefaces and feast days.  [This is clear.] The Calendar for this aMissal will shortly be published in the Liturgy section on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.catholic-ew.org.uk/liturgy/).  [Great!  That is good news.]

When permitted public Masses in the Extraordinary Form are celebrated in the diocese, the readings of the Mass may be proclaimed in the vernacular using the permitted Scriptural texts for liturgical use in this country which, at present, are taken from the Jerusalem Bible or from the Revised Standard Version.  [However.... what does that mean?  Does that mean in place of the Latin readings?  This needs clarification from the Pontifical Commission.]

Clerics who wish to use the Breviarium Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1960 may do so privately, i.e., ‘without the people’.  The same level of competence would also apply here as with the celebration of Mass.  [I guess that makes sense... more sense than with the Missal, which is well translated in many different versions.  It has alwas struck me a little strange that some clerics want to say the breviary in Latin but don't know Latin.  But that is just me.]

It is likewise clear [So much clarity... when you want there to be.] from this document that there is to be no transferring of elements from one form of the Roman Rite to the other e.g., a priest blessing himself at the absolution or the prayer before proclaiming the Gospel or with the Sacred Species before receiving Holy Communion etc. [Huh?  This must be aimed at some priests who are using elements of the older form of Mass in the newer.]

    It is evident that the Holy Father’s hope is that ‘the two Forms of usage can be mutually enriching’.  He notes that ‘the most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives.  This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.’  This is something that we priests should heed very carefully.  However there is an important rider, directed at those who wish to worship only in the Extraordinary Form, that those who “adhere to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebration according to the new books.  The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”  While the Pope asks the bishops to be magnanimous to those who adhere to the Extraordinary Form, they too must be equally magnanimous in recognising the value and holiness of the Ordinary Form[I wonder what "magnanimous" means here.  Is this like how some people are more "equal" than others?] More importantly, the Holy Father states in his covering letter that priests who as a matter of principle exclude celebrating according to the new books are not in full communion with the Church. [He does?]  It should be recognised that while the Motu Proprio permits the use of the Extraordinary Form, [Again, I wonder if a distinction is not in order.  I think the Motu Proprio declares that priest have that right, rather than grants permission.  A subtle but important distinction.] asking bishops to ‘generously open our hearts’, it is not concerned with the promotion of the Extraordinary Form.  [Really?  I wonder.  I wonder if that is so clear.  Debatable.]

    I hope these notes are helpful to you.  [Is "helpful" the right word?  I wonder if the priests of Leeds are sitting around their rectory tables, sipping a nice cup of tea, thinking, "That was really helpful!"] I may very well issue further guidelines for the diocese but, in the meantime, if I can be of assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact me.  Please keep me fully informed with regard to any approaches you yourselves may receive regarding these matters.

Let us keep each other in prayer.

With all good wishes,

Yours devotedly in Christ,

[SIGNATURE]

Bishop of Leeds

The Right Reverend Arthur Roche
Bishop’s House, 13 North Grange Road, Leeds LS6 2BR
Tel: 0113 230 4533    Fax: 0133 278 9890

Well… I am told that His Excellency… His Lordship… is in the running to be named as the new Archbishop of Westminster.

Maybe some of our English priests can fill in some background on this whole picture. 

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39 Responses to Bp. Roche (Leeds, UK – head of ICEL): statement to priests on M.P. (10 Sept)

  1. fxavier says:

    When permitted public Masses in the Extraordinary Form are celebrated in the diocese, the readings of the Mass may be *proclaimed* in the vernacular using the permitted Scriptural texts for liturgical use in this country which, at present, are taken from the Jerusalem Bible or from the Revised Standard Version.

    Proclaim? That’s N.O. usage / term of art. Lessons and Gospels are either *chanted* or *read* in the TLM.

    I thought there was to be “no mixing of rites”, as per His Excellency.

    Clerics who wish to use the Breviarium Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1960 may do so privately, i.e., ‘without the people’.

    Can he really do this?

    I don’t suppose that the same restriction exists for “Christian Prayer / Liturgy of the Hours”, even in Latin. Isn’t this then just an exercise in close-heartedness?

  2. nw says:

    I consider this response to the MP to be one of the most disappointing so far, coming from a prelate who has been instrumental in working on the new English translation of the ordinary form. I am at a loss as to why someone in bishop Roche’s position seemingly cannot properly contextualize the MP within the pope’s broader program for a reform of the reform.

  3. Dominic says:

    This is so disappointing, especially coming from Bishop Roche. Given that he must have expected this to be seen by Rome, it must be a clear indication that he has no wish to become Archbishop of Westminster!

    I recently attended a wedding, where the nuptial Mass was in the older form, but the actual wedding was conducted (before the Mass) according to the newer form. It seems that this is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the civil law.

  4. Al says:

    I saw in the Catholic Herald the other day an article alleging that consideration was being given in Rome to grooming Cardinal Pell for Westminster, over the heads of the likes of Roche and Nichols. This makes it even more interesting…

  5. Peter says:

    Re: Fominic’s comment on the OF/EF for marriage: “It seems that this is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the civil law”.
    Of which country or civil jurisdiction are you speaking. If the EF is somehow unable to fulfil CIVIL requirements, that would be extraordinary, no pun intended. In such places, what of marriages contracted in the presence of an SSPX priest?

    wrt to Westminster and the disposition of potential candidates to the EF, while Cardinal Pell is not hostile to the EF, having celebrated it himself on a number of occasions, one could not describe him as a devotee.

  6. Paul, South Midlands says:

    “There is some uncertainty regarding the civil form of marriage in the more ancient Rite, but I shall give you further information regarding this when that is clarified.”

    Absolute Rubbish. I, like many others in England since the year 2000 had the ER for our nuptial Mass. Exactly where in English law does it say “thou must not be married using the tridentine rite?

    All this shows is how little the likes of Roche know about what is going on under their noses. And his priests are quite at liberty to substitute the ER at any of their scheduled masses, and there is damn all he can do about it. Indeed if he tries to do anything about it he might find himself summoned to Rome and invited to sit down in the “comfy chair” (Nobody expects etc. etc.).

    Regarding the 1973 version, he is sort of correct, in 1973 came the dark day when we all stopped saying “I believe” and “my soul” and started saying “we” and “my” etc., yes it was when the dreaded ICEL translations came in.

    Overall it dosent surprise me that he has taken this attitude, hes after all a priest of the Diocese under its predecessor Bishop Konstant, who seemed to fairly constantly suffer from Trentophobia.

    Sorry, I’ve been a bit strong on this post, but I don’t take kindly to people claiming that my marriage might not be legally valid, even if they are Bishops.

  7. The civil rules regarding marriage in England and Wales are that a declaration of freedom and the vows are made according to a civil formula in English or Welsh, unless another form is agreed with the Office of the Registrar General.
    I can’t see that this is a problem as the English formula used now, was used in the 1962 ritual. Its a red herring, being used to disconcert

    Cardinal Hume made the statement, “this document does not apply to the Church in England and Wales”, when the document on the Unordained Faithful was issued. This seems to be more of the same thing.

  8. It is my understanding that, in the old days in the UK, clerics of any church other than that “by law established” had to witness a civil ceremony immediately after the religious one in the presence of the local civil registrar in order to make the marriage “legal.” I am not sure how this changed after Vatican II, or why it would change as a result of VII. I am only aware of the practice of bipartite weddings in England in the old days.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    WAC (American civil lawyer)

  9. Thomasso says:

    This is another way of saying that the MP does not apply here in Enagland and Wales – the usual mantra of our bishops regarding documents from Rome they don’t like. Since Bishop Roche has had the audacity to say what he has, others are likely to follow.

    As you indicate, Fr Z, Bishop Roche is one of the more serious contenders from within the ranks of the current E&W hierarchy for the Westminster vacancy. Many of us here would be very worried if he did succeed the present Cardinal.

    Other than writing as an individual to the Nuncio and the Congregation for Bishops, is there a more effetcive way that this disobedience to the Holy Father in respect of the Motu Proprio (which is surely indicative of a potential for disobedience on other matters) can be brought to the Holy Father’s attention – particularly in relation to the Westminster situation?

  10. Flabellum says:

    Bishop Roche is known as a \’control freak\’ of the worst order. Let\’s hope this has scotched his hopes of translation to Westminster.
    The wedding question is a total red herring. There is a form of words in English that is a statutory requirement for Civil registration; this was provided for in the old rite in England, and the appropriate words in current legislation would be used in exactly the sam way.

  11. Mary Lewis says:

    Perhaps Arthur has taken the lesson of the Conti/O’ Brien red hat to mean that a little opposition to the Roman line does no harm in the promotion stakes; the poacher could be appointed gamekeeper. It is staggering though that someone with such an apparently poor knowledge of Latin should be in charge of ICEL.

  12. benedict ambrose says:

    Fr Z, I think that when the bishop mentions the “approaches” his
    priests may expect, he means the approaches from the faithful to the priest to celebrate the old form. That is, he is trying to prepare his priests for the lobbying of the faithful – and he gives plenty of ammo here to those priests who don’t want to say the old form at all.

    When His Excellency says this:

    “And it is clear from the Motu Proprio that the Extraordinary Form may only be celebrated in addition to the Ordinary Form and not in its place. I would not envisage within this diocese a parish that did not celebrate the Ordinary Form each day and it would not be permissible to substitute Mass in the Extraordinary Form for one that would normally be in the Ordinary Form. It must also be kept in mind that the canonical limitation of bination remains in place.”

    How is this not preventing a celebration of the old rite entirely? I mean, if a priest may not binate (i.e., he may not, for example, say one Mass of the old and then another of the new [unless it be a different \Mass, e.g., one of the day and one votive?]) and he may not replace the new with the old, under what circumstances may he celebrate the old AT ALL?

  13. elizabeth mckernan says:

    I find it deeply upsetting when I read that a bishop has no evidence that great numbers of people wish to attend the extraordinary rite.
    When the changes took place in the 60s, I certainly would not have dreamed of writing to the bishop. I accepted what the Church had decided. Over the years I never mentioned my difficulties to my parish priests either. i felt that it would be a criticism of them.
    Before the changes took place, we would make our choice on whether we would attend high Mass or Low Mass. looking back I do wonder why both rites could not have been celebrated in each parish and then the attendances could have been seen. then and only then could it be discovered what the people wished to continue with.

  14. Clare says:

    I was married according to the “more ancient Rite” 10 years ago, in my parish Church, by the parish priest, with the permission of the diocesan bishop, in the presence of a registrar present, and two witnesses, and we signed the marriage certificate in front of them. What else did we need?

  15. Tom S. says:

    Father Z, regarding your comment:

    Article 9 of the Motu Proprio gives Parish Priests permission [Does it give permission or does it simply declare that they have permission. It is a picky distinction.] to use the earlier rituals …

    I don’t believe you are being picky at all! It is very appropriate, and identical in concept to the rights “granted” in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Declaclaration of Independence i.e. “They are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..” The idea that the rights are pre-existing and “not to be abridged” make them much more strong, I think. Similary, Summorum Pontificum itself is not an indult, just a declaration that certain rights already exist.

  16. Chironomo says:

    he sure is claiming a lot of things to be “clear” that don’t even seem to be a part of SP!! Is it really “clear” that the Bishops are given the power to regulate who is qualified? While it might be inferred, it is certainly not spelled out. Would this mean that a Bishop wishing to stop the celebration of the EF could simply not declare any Priests qualified? I think not! It may be the Bishop’s RESPONSIBILITY to see to it that there are qualified Priests in his Diocese through training, etc… but I think inferring a de facto veto power is a bit of a stretch…

  17. Bernard says:

    Thomasso
    I don’t know, perhaps writing directly to the Holy Father or the head of the Ecclesia Dei commision would be best.

  18. Tom S. says:

    Father Z, regarding your comment:

    Article 9 of the Motu Proprio gives Parish Priests permission [Does it give permission or does it simply declare that they have permission. It is a picky distinction.] to use the earlier rituals …

    I don’t believe you are being picky at all! It is very appropriate, and identical in concept to the rights granted in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Declaclaration of Independence i.e. They are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.. The idea that the rights are pre-existing and not to be abridged make them much more strong, I think. Similary, Summorum Pontificum itself is not an indult, just a declaration that certain rights already exist.

  19. RichR says:

    Fr Z,

    It would be helpful if you could do a blog entry on “bination: the law, the practice, etc…..”. Many here are familiar with some aspects of this argument, but others (myself included) could stand to be more fully informed about what is going on here.

  20. Argent says:

    How strange. Last year we were cheering him for his rousing address to the USCCB in June 2006 that saw the Mass translations passed. He handled the “dew” argument well. But this letter has me stumped. Is he feeling a threat to the ICEL’s work?

    His address last year…he even talked a little about Latin.

  21. Greg Smisek says:

    His Lordship states: Clerics who wish to use the Breviarium Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1960 may do so privately, i.e., ‘without the people’.

    fxavier mistakenly reads this as restrictive. And it would indeed be an odd interpretation of the Holy Father’s norms to restrict the celebration of the Divine Office to private recitation, especially considering the Second Vatican Council’s call to increase parish and cathedral celebrations of it.

    Fortunately, the Archbishop’s “notes” are not legislative, and, in any case, he actually says nothing with regard to celebrations of the Office “with the people”.

  22. Advocatus says:

    Fr Z
    Arthur Roche is a bishop not an Archbishop. Most of his clergy hope that he will become an Archbishop – they don’t care where. Anywhere so long as it’s not Leeds!
    For a marriage in a Catholic Church to enjoy civil validity a number of things are required: delegation to an ‘authorised person’ has to be obtained from the Registrar, or the Registrar has to be present in person, and a formula of words approved by the State has to be used. If some of your readers married in England or Wales without using this formula the wedding does not have civil validity. This doesn’t just apply to the EF because the practice was always to use the approved formula. In fact it is more of an issue with marriages taking place in foreign languages: a wedding in French or Italian using the French or Italian books would not be civilly valid unless the couple also used the approved civil formula.
    Does the letter sound intimidating to you? Will there be a witch-hunt to discover who leaked the ‘Confidential’ letter? I hope not. The last time a parish priest stood up forcefully to that Bishop he found himself suspended and not permitted to return to his parish until he had undergone a ‘psychological assessment’… It is a diocese controlled by fear.

  23. caesium says:

    Fr Z (and others) have promoted him already! There is a suspicion here that he might get Birmingham (Archdiocese) if Nichols moves to Westminster.

    His restored Cathedral is very N.O.

    What worries me about him is that he never visits any parishes and didn’t even visit him seminarians in the local seminary which is an hours drive away.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Is he feeling a threat to the ICEL’s work?

    I sense wide-spread ambivalence about Summorum Pontificum among reform-of-the-reform types, mainly good people whose main interest is in better celebration and/or better translation of the new Mass. Apparently many of them don’t fully understand what many of us take to be obvious — that one of the Pope’s principal intended effects of SP is improvement of the new Mass.

  25. LeonG says:

    One has to face the facts that the modern catholic church in UK resembles its counterparts elsewhere – decline in church attendances on a stunning level; empty seminaries and a collapse of monastic and convent vocations. While bishops tarry and split hairs this situation is worsening. Some of them behave as though they either do not care; they have not noticed or they actually will it.
    The SP is clear in so far as priests have never lost the right to say the Latin Mass -it was never abrogated nor obrogated. No bishop can alter this as it is not in their competence to do so. I certainly know of some who would like it abolished. Because this is not an acceptable alternative anymore, they will haggle over the details ad infinitum and delay in the hope the issue will eventually go away. But it just will not!

  26. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    I believe the indult given to England by Pope PaulVI was for the 1965 missal.The indult was very restrictive and not what Cardinal Heenan wanted.In 1974 Bishop Welsh ,at the time bishop of Arlington,wrote the British hierachy to ask how they went about obtaining the indult since he wanted to have the TLM offered in our Cathedral.He told me that they replied they did not know what he was talking about! By the way the word proclaimin the epistle or Gosple is traditional.

  27. Richard T says:

    Re marriages:

    By statute, a marriage in England is not valid in English civil law unless it contains two specified phrases; a statutory declaration (that the couple are not legally restricted from marrying each other) and the vow (“contracting words”).

    These must be in one of the 3 alternative forms set out in law, so they have to be said in English (or, if in a Welsh speaking part of Wales, in Welsh) and Latin vows would not be valid.

    Whether or not the vows could simply be translated would depend on whether the English specified phrase was an accurate translation of the Latin. The Bishop is correct this needs to be looked at, and by someone with some legal knowledge. However it worked 50 years ago so it can’t be difficult to make it work again.

    This has no effect on the rest of the marriage (only those two phrases have to be in English), nor any Nuptial Mass.

  28. ** Matt ** says:

    You see, such a statement by His Excellency of Leeds demonstrates two things:

    1. The bishop ( or any bishop around the world who has taken such an interpretation of the Motu Proprio–and we know there are many ) is either disgruntled about the Motu Proprio, or,

    2. Truly that ignorant of the meaning of the Motu Proprio.

    In any case, no wonder Rome is going to release the Clarification soon on the proper IMPLEMENTATION of the Motu Proprio. We certainly welcome it.

    It’s truly odd that a few good priests and laymen can understand these things yet in the pronouncements of various bishops ( who are supposed to know ) it seems they are missing a chromosome.

  29. Geri says:

    “to be kept fully appraised of what is happening ”

    Is this some British English usage, or does he mean “apprised?”

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  30. Paul, South Midlands says:

    Thomaso wrote:

    “Other than writing as an individual to the Nuncio and the Congregation for Bishops, is there a more effetcive way that this disobedience to the Holy Father in respect of the Motu Proprio (which is surely indicative of a potential for disobedience on other matters) can be brought to the Holy Father’s attention – particularly in relation to the Westminster situation?”

    I suspect no more need now be done – Fr Zs review of this letter will, I expect be widely read in Rome.

    The MP is certainly sorting the wheat from the chaff – with Fr Z’s Blog being the main device for bringing this to light.

    And by sorting the wheat from the Chaff, I don’t mean finding out who likes the EF, I mean sorting those who shepherd their preists from those who control them, which is an excellent way of identifying the bullies among the episcopate and preventing their future advancement.

  31. pattif says:

    This is so disappointing. It is also worrying that the Head Honcho of ICEL appears to be so uncomfortable with Latin; presumably that explains why we are to be saddled with “For us and our salvation” as a translation of “Propter nos homines et nostram salutem”.

    The issue of whether his priests were “idoneus” with Latin would soon diappear if His Lordship ensured the implementation of the Holy Father’s request in para 62 of Sacramentum Caritatis:

    “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; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant.”

    I wonder how His Lordship is getting on with that.

  32. Sussex Catholic says:

    I hope I can answer the query regarding the EF for marriage being both a lawyer and also having been married according to the traditional form. The position in England until comparatively recently was that Catholic priests could not act as civil registrars and register a marriage to satisfy the requirements of the law. Consequently when Catholics married in England (my parents being a case in point) they would go through the marriage formulas with the priest as per normal but then when they went into the sacristy to sign the register a civil registrar had to be present to witness their declarations and enter the details into the legal register.

    The new form of marriage coincided with permission under English law for Catholic priests to be admitted as civil registrars. As part of this process the formula for marriage in England was intentionally amended to ensure that it also satisifed the civil requirements specifically in the form of the declarations of freedom to marry “I know not of any lawful impediment etc..”. Consequently now a Catholic priest (provided of course he is registered with the relevant local authority as a civil registrar) need not go through any additional formula for the marriage to be regarded as legal in English law.

    That said there is no requirement to use the new formula for the marriage service. All we did was to have the traditional formula in the presence of the congregation and then once inside the sacristy with the priest (who was an authorised registrar) and witnesses, we made the statutory declarations prior to the marriage being entered into the register.

    Thus Bishop Roche’s concern is misplaced and like the rest of his letter shows a poor grasp of the basics of his subject matter. Not a good start for someone with an eye on high office but perhaps typical of a liturgical translator.

  33. mike says:

    Fr McAfee,

    Off the point – but excellent Missa Cantata yesterday and a sermon that held my interest (and it was entertaining). My 7 yr old had the following comment: “Pop, I like one hour mass”.

    m

  34. Spes says:

    Fr Z
    There are a lot of comments bemoaning the state of the British hierarchy but nevertheless I think it’s hard for someone outside these shores to fully appreciate how sorry a state we are in. Most other English-speaking countries have now a number of new bishops who are beginning an authentic reform as envisaged by the Council and fully in accordance with the hermeneutic of continuity. The have a vision. They know what needs to be done. They are working to achieve it.
    Sadly that is not the case in England. Many of the English bishops are characterised by insularity and petty-mindedness. There is a great suspicion towards academia (how many English priests are permitted to complete doctorates or teach in faculties?). Most of our bishops have risen through the ranks of diocesan curial offices. Some, sadly, seemingly more so intent on preferrment that they developed a healthy suspicion towards any potential rivals.
    Rome looks on England with bemusement and a certain apprehension. We are an odd island with an odd history. We have arcane ways of doing things and they don’t want to upset us. Occasionally they will appoint someone who is more ‘conservative’ in taste at least. They are scared to appoint a strong-minded individual who might upset things over here.
    The truth is that we do not need aesthetic conservatives. We need men who are orthodox and prayerful who are not scared to do what needs to be done. They do not need to be ‘bruisers’. They can be prudent men who will work to achieve a certain end in time. But they do need to recognise what that end must be. Those men can be found in dioceses all over England usually doing tremendous work in the most difficult parishes the diocese has to offer.

  35. yvonne says:

    Is anyone keeping tabs on how many PRO Bishops responses Vs. CON Bishops responses.

    I’m guessing there are more of the latter. It’s quite discouraging..

  36. NC says:

    Bishop Roche, though he comes across as a very pleasant chap, has always been a ruthless careerist. I think he may have shot himself in the foot now. He is also known to be a friend of a certain Archbishop P Marini.

    Perhaps a bishop will one day write a letter to his priests along the lines of

    Reverend and dear Father,

    Summorum Pontificum

    You will all be aware from recent postings on the Diocesan Web Site and news-sheet that the Holy Father has issued a Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. What a marvellous opportunity this gives us to renew our love for the Sacred Liturgy, to examine how we celebrate it, and to make sure that we celebrate it well, in either form, according to the mind of the Church, for our good and the good of the Church.

    There is, of course, no need for me to explain the contents of the Motu Proprio to you: as with all of Pope Benedict’s writings, what it says is perfectly clear. However, in our Diocese I will do all that I can to enable what is contained within it.

    Sadly, at seminary many of you were denied the opportunity to study the Latin necessary to celebrate either the Ordinary or the Extraordinary Form in its intended language. Do not worry about this. There are some excellent resources available and I have arranged, at diocesan expense, for Latin tutors to be available to any priest or deacon who asks for help in this regard. Some time ago I instructed the seminaries that I expect, in accordance with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council et al, all of our seminarians to be conversant with the Latin language. I now expect them to come to the diocese from seminary able to celebrate Holy Mass in both Forms.

    Similarly, those priests who may need help with the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form will find many resources available. The fine group of generous priests who have been celebrating what we used to call the ‘Indult’ Holy Masses have kindly agreed to help any priest who approaches them. The Diocesan Council for Liturgy are busy arranging study days for the Faithful about the Extraordinary Form and the Diocesan Director of Music is happy to visit any parishes that require help with learning or improving their use of Gregorian Chant. The Guild of Saint Stephen is also preparing materials and a weekend residential course for boys and men to (re)train for serving Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

    In the meantime, those priests who consider themselves ‘idoneus’ have my encouragement and blessing to carry on implementing the Motu Proprio. Please feel free to publish widely the times of Masses in the Extraordinary Form. If necessary, permission to celebrate extra Masses and / or to replace, in the spirit of the Motu Proprio, Ordinary with Extraordinary Form Holy Masses is gladly given.

    Henceforth at all diocesan celebrations of Holy Mass in either Form we will use the chant ordinaries and propers along with sacred polyphony from our rich musical heritage as appropriate. Beginning with our Cathedral, I hope that this example will permeate into all of our parishes, enriching the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy throughout the Diocese.

    I hope to celebrate Pontifical High Mass at the Cathedral regularly on days of precept and other occasions. Of course, I have to confess that tooI am in need of tuition ! Thanks to the good offices of Father X, who has kindly agreed to set aside his retirement plans until a suitable successor emerges, from the First Sunday of Advent there will be daily Low Mass and a ‘Missa Cantata’ on Sundays and Solemnities at our Cathedral……..

    Well, we can all dream!

  37. Francis Brennan says:

    Fr. Z.,

    You’re the expert Latinist, maybe you can help us all out here, including his Lordship: is the –IUM ending in “Summorum PONTIFICIUM” the episcopal supine, the modernist indicative, or the heterodox imperative?

  38. Francis Carey says:

    I was married in the more ancient usage of the Roman Rite and it is perfectly acceptable to use the older marriage rite. To make it legal it is simply a matter of requiring both bride and groom to declare that they know of no lawful impediment why they may not be joined in Matrimony. I referred matters to a priest who was both a Civil Registrar and a Canon Lawyer. The Registrar on the day was also a lay person who made no objection to the ceremony in the slightest–only asked if her mother could attend!

  39. Latin lover says:

    As someone actually living and worshipping in the diocese of Leeds I think a little reality check is needed. The diocese covers urban areas but also rural areas including a National Park. Getting to mass at all is an issue for many people with long trips to the nearest church.
    I would rather stress out and worry that there aren’t enough priests coming through training and that our church communities are small and elderly than whether the Bishop can or can’t spell in Latin.