I am scratching my head about something.
Let’s get the sequence of events clear in our minds.
Some days before the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was promulgated on 7 July 2007, a preliminary text was sent through the nuncios to the conferences of bishops throughout the world.
After that preliminary text was distributed, changes were made to the text of the Motu Proprio. The updated, corrected text was promulgated on 7 July.
His Excellency the Chair of the USCCB’s litturgy office, Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, seeing that there was a discrepancy between the text sent through the nunciature before 7 July and the official text promulgated on 7 July, sends some dubia to the Commission in Rome asking for a clarifications. Called into question is the very working of the document concerning one of the critical points: Art. 5.1.
Apparently, someone doubted the text the Holy See promulgated on 7 July was correct. Or was it really a doubt? Was there another motive?
Let’s back back to the timeline.
Without waiting for a response to the dubia he had sent, the same Chair of the liturgy office (who had sent the dubia), but this time in his capacity as a diocesan bishop, issues lengthy norms as particular law based on the doubtful text, the very text about which he had sent dubia to the Holy See. Those particular norms don’t go into effect until 1 November 2007.
One assumes that if the responses comes back from Rome about the dubia, those norms could be be revised.
I think I got the series of events in the right order.
So, I now ask….
Does it strike anyone but me as a little strange that, knowing full well that the text you are basing your norms on is in some way doubtful, you would nevertheless go ahead and issue those norms?
We are dealing with really smart people here, after all. I assume they know exactly what they are doing.
What does one gain or lose by such a move?
Is it possible that by getting out ahead of the wave, as it were, one might seek to influence other bishops to take the similar stands about the Motu Proprio? Create a …. lobby? Inspire them to issue their own norms based on the doubtful text (easier to gloss), rather than wait for clarifications? Get your laws in place first and try to set the mood/stage/terrain? Shape opinion now? Before the clarifications come?
Again, these are really smart and capable people we are talking about. They must know what they are doing and what they want to accomplish.