Interview with Archbp. Ranjith: those who resist Summorum Pontificum guilty of the sin of pride

The highly estimable Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, His Excellency Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige gave an interview to Bruno Volpe of Petrus where you can find the original Italian. 

Rorate has their own translation, but here is mine with my emphases:

Your Excellency, what kind of reception has Benedict XVI´s Motu Proprio which liberalized the Holy Mass according to the Tridentine Rite had?  Some, in the very bosom of the Church, have got their noses bent out of shape…

"There have been positive reactions and, it’s pointless to deny it, criticisms and opposing positions, also on the part of theologians, liturgists, priests, Bishops, and even Cardinals. Frankly, I don’t understand this distancing from, and, let’s just say it, rebellion against the Pope. I invite all, above all shepherds, to obey the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. Bishops, in particular, swore loyalty to the Pontiff: they must be consistent and faithful to their commitment."

In your view, what are these demonstrations against the Motu Proprio due to?

"You know there have been, on the part of some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio. Behind these actions there are hidden, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other hand, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I call on everyone to obey the Pope. If the Holy father decided he had to issue the Motu Proprio, he had his reasons which I share entirely."

The derestriction of the the Tridentine Rite by Benedict XVI appears to be the right remedy for the many liturgical abuses sadly recounted after the Second Vatican Council with the ‘Novus Ordo’…

"Look, I don’t want to criticize the ‘Novus Ordo’. But I have to laugh when I hear it said, even by friends, that in a some parish, a priest is a ‘saint’ because of his homily or how well he speaks. Holy Mass is sacrifice, gift, mystery, independently of the priest celebrating it. It is important, nay rather, fundamental that the priest step aside: the protagonist of the Mass is Christ. So I really don’t understand these Eucharistic celebrations turned into shows with dances, songs or applause, as frequently happens with the Novus Ordo."

Monsignor Patabendige, your Congregation has repeatedly denounced these liturgical abuses…

"True. However, there are so many documents which have sadly remained dead letters, winding up on dusty shelves or, worse yet, in waste baskets."

Another point: one often hears very long homilies…

"This is an abuse too. I’m against dances and applause during Masses, which aren’t a circus or stadium. Regarding homilies, they must be about, as the Pope has underscored, the catechetical dimension exclusively, avoiding sociologizing and pointless chatter. For example, priests jump onto some political point because they didn’t prepare their homily well, which really ought to be scrupulously worked on. An excessively long homily is synonymous with poor preparation: the right length of time for a sermon should be 10 minutes, 15 at most. You have to remember that the high point of the celebration is the Eucharistic mystery, without of course  intending to downplay the liturgy of the Word, but rather to make clear how to carry out a correct liturgy."

Returning to the Motu Proprio: some criticize the use of Latin during Mass…

"The Tridentine Rite is part of the tradition of the Church. The Pope has duly explained the reasons for his provision, an act of liberty and justice towards traditionalists. As for Latin, I would underscore that it was never been abolished and, what is more, that it secures the universality of the Church. But I repeat: I urge priests, bishops, and cardinals to obedience, setting aside every kind of pride and prejudice."

I have a couple observations.

Archbp. Ranjith identifies resistance to Summorum Pontificum, that is, attempting to impose restrictions on the Pope’s wide provisions, as a manifestation of the sin of pride. 

Ranjith firmly establishes that Christ is the true actor in the Mass.  Thus, since He is the Actor, what He does in the liturgy (the Church’s texts and the our gestures defined by rubrics) is Christ acting and speaking through us.  Our active participation, therefore, be characterized by active participation by active receptivity. 

Since Christ is the true Actor, the priest needs to get out of the way and not impose too much his own personality on any liturgical action.  The older form of Mass, in its precision of rubrics first and foremost, but also its gestalt tends to control the priest.  The newer form of Mass frees him up in a way that is a little risky.  Also, we could say that the ad orientem manner of saying Mass also helps to get the priest out of the way so that everyone can focus more fully on the Lord together. 

About that phrase of "liberty and justice" towards "traditionalists".  In an amazing coincidence I was reading this morning a new little book by a liturgist at the liturgical institute Sant’Anselmo in Rome, Andrea Grillo (born 1961) entitled Oltre Pio VBeyond Pius V.  Though I am not too far into this book, and probably won’t go much further, Grillo takes exception to the argument in favor of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum based on "freedom" of rites.   I will look over that section again and maybe post some comments on it elsewhere.  But it strikes me that Archbp. Ranjith knows precisely who, in Rome and around the world, is fighting the Motu Proprio and with what arguments.

Therefore, WDTPRS will continue to keep and eye on things and let people know what is going on.  If I can’t always provide lots of analysis or review everyone you readers inform me about, I can at least put certain positive and negative positions in the spotlight.  You can do your own digging and decide what is going on.

 

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36 Responses to Interview with Archbp. Ranjith: those who resist Summorum Pontificum guilty of the sin of pride

  1. Bernard says:

    This the second(?) time Arch. Ranjith has castigated Cardinals and Bishops who oppose the Motu Propio; “instruments of the devil”.
    Unless the upcoming clarifications have real teeth (such as…what?) it seems the battle lines are being drawn. Very serious. Pray hard.

  2. chironomo says:

    I agree… battle lines are being drawn very clearly. This is a bold statement coming from someone in Ranjith’s position, particularly since it is his congregation that is issuing (has issued?) the document clarifying SP. For him to say, critically, that there have been “even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio” would seem to not bode well for the Bishop’s issuing those documents. I am predicting that the coming “clarification” from the CDW will be in the form of a “cease and desist”(sp?) letter, hopefully with a definitive statement that there is NO NEED FOR ANY FURTHER INSTRUCTION FROM THE BISHOPS, and that their role is to respond to questions from clergy who need assistance implementing SP, and that is it! It is sad that we’ve come to a point where things need to be selled out like this. It is gtting easier to understand why Pius X felt it necessary to issue Tra le solicitudini…

  3. Athanasius says:

    Furthermore this fits well with what Monsignor Perl of PCED said to Petrus last month:

    [Petrus]Well, why are some Bishops and many priests not accepting it [the Motu Proprio]?

    [Perl]“It must be clarified for them. Personally, I believe the problem may be generally of order. Everyone, in all the avenues of society, has lost the sense of obedience and the respect for authority. In a manner of speaking, few really have the capacity to obey.”

    I see a potential strike back from the Holy See. Perl is essentially saying the Bishops have gone the way of society in disobedience, and his excellency here is saying the bishops are sinning.
    My problem is in the fact that many Bishops of ill will still follow the Weakland doctrine. Weakland ignored explicit instructions from the Holy See not to wreckovate his Cathedral in Miluakee back in 2002, and nothing was done. That was a sign to every other progressive Bishop that when the Holy See puts out instructions like Redemptionis Sacramentum, they are DOA and nothing will be done. In fact, Cardinal Mahony, in a letter in the Tidings, told everyone how he respected Redemptionis Sacramentum, but since pouring the Blessed Sacrament from pitchers like kool-aid had become custom in the LA Archdiocese, he was going to set it aside as if he were his own Pope. The episcopal resistance to SP is a continuation of this. Blatantly tell the Vatican to go to hell and nothing will happen. My problem is, what will happen when the Vatican finally does something? Will the Bishops push back, with their new found powers outlined in the “spirit of Vatican II”? The Holy See historically has always worked to avoid schisms with few exceptions. This is true long before the modern period. During the Italian Wars Pope Julius II gave up all kinds of rights to King Francis to stop the Gallican schism from occurring. Will Pope Benedict cave on obedience to SP in order to stop the “spirit of Vatican II schism”, which I define as multiple national episcopal conferences deciding they will ignore Church law? Then again, to quote the famous words of the late Jesuit John Hardon, S.J., when asked whether or not the USCCB was in schism, he said “How do you know they aren’t already in schism?

  4. Athelstane says:

    Wow.

  5. Malta says:

    Fr. Z writes: “The newer form of Mass frees him up in a way that is a little risky. Also, we could say that the ad orientem manner of saying Mass also helps to get the priest out of the way so that everyone can focus more fully on the Lord together.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The form and rubrics of the vetus ordo formed through the centuries to control the actions of the priest, who acts in Persona Christi, and therefore must comport himself accordingly. How the priest holds the Eucharist, for instance, is regulated to show due reverence; and how we receive it is regulated for the same reason. Passing around Christ, hand-to-hand; lay minister to disinterested parishioner, does not create a sense of awe. No wonder only 25% of those who still attend mass (which itself is only 25% of Catholics in America and 7% in France) do not believe in the Real Presence.

    In so many novus ordo masses the attention is all on the priest; how funny he is being, the great jokes he is telling, it’s, “me, me, me!” While Christ is, all too often, forgotten; and if He is remembered at all, it is only as the resurrected Christ (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong), and the Sacrifice is forgotten or deemphasized.

  6. M.Z. Forrest says:

    I have heard good 10-15 minute homilies. They are the exception. My personal preference is 30 minutes. With the exception of priests who rarely hit the 30 minute mark, my expereince is that the longer sermons are better. Other than that, I don’t think there is much to disagree. In particular, the standard for televised masses needs to be improved.

  7. Tom S. says:

    Wow!!! Talk about throwing down the gauntlet!

    This is the second time in a month that disobedient Bishops have been PUBLICLY accused of grave sin. Is there a precedent for this??

  8. BK says:

    I like Damian Thompson’s spin on this story:

    Rome’s fury: Motu Proprio mutiny ‘sinful’
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ukcorrespondents/holysmoke/november07/romes-fury.htm

    Posted by Damian Thompson on 05 Nov 2007 at 16:27
    telegraph.co.uk

    The Vatican has vented its fury at the mutinous response of liberal bishops and cardinals to the Pope’s liberation of the traditional Latin Mass.

    Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has accused dioceses that try to sabotage the Pope’s Motu Proprio of “prejudices of an ideological kind” and “pride, one of the gravest sins”. Well said!

    The archbishop does not name the prelates he considers to be in a state of “rebellion towards the Pope”, as he puts it. But one thing is clear: overall, the reaction of the Bishops of England and Wales to Pope Benedict’s ruling has been truly dismal.

    This is just guesswork, but I wouldn’t surprised if Archbishop’s Ranjith’s remarks were directed partly at the Diocese of Portsmouth, whose “director of liturgy” Paul Inwood produced an appalling set of guidelines that tried to ban Catholics for asking for the traditional Mass.

    Two other names that come to mind are Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton and Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, both of whom have written letters contrary to the letter and spirit of the Pope’s wishes.

    Hat-tip to Petavius and the Rorate Caeli blog for alerting me to the archbishop’s interview, given to Bruno Volpe of the papal news website Petrus. Here are the money quotes:

    “There have been positive reactions [to the Motu Proprio] and, it is useless to deny it, criticisms and opposition, even from theologians, liturgists, priests, bishops, and even cardinals. I frankly do not understand these rifts, and, why not [say it], rebellion towards the Pope. I invite all, particularly the Shepherds, to obey the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. The Bishops, in particular, have sworn fidelity to the Pontiff: may they be coherent and faithful to their commitment…

    “You know that there have been, by some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably intend to limit the Pope’s Motu Proprio. These actions mask behind them, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I call all to obey the Pope. If the Holy Father decided to promulgate the Motu Proprio, he had his reasons, which I fully share.”

    Such ferocious comments by a senior figure in the Curia indicate that Rome is not prepared to stand by and watch liberal bishops ignore Pope Benedict’s decision to restore the former Tridentine Rite to full parity with the Mass of Paul VI.

    Archbishop Ranjith, 58, a Dutch-born Sri Lankan, is a man after the Pope’s heart: he loves the traditional Mass and celebrates it in his private chapel. He speaks with a forthright eloquence rarely encountered among English bishops. Here is a taste of his style, from a recent address in the Netherlands:

    “The Church cannot be the arena of confusion, philosophical or moral relativism, sophistry and casuistic dilution of the revealed truth which is the foundation of its Credo, the Word of God as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church and interpreted by the official magisterium of the Church and open dissent or public debate even in the name of the freedom of theological research.

    “My mind goes back to the story of the construction or shall we say the attempted construction of the Tower of Babel. Its constructors felt confident that they could scale the heavens with their own resources and strength without God. Hasn’t that same spirit re-appeared perhaps in a more sophisticated form in the world and the Church today?”

    Archbishop Ranjith is no fool: he is appalled by the stroppy, work-to-rule mentality of bishops who think they are popes in their own dioceses and have no intention of implementing a ruling they don’t like.

    As for the identity of the unnamed cardinals, your guess is as good as mine. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster hasn’t said anything that could get him into trouble – but neither has he manifested the slightest enthusiasm for – or interest in – this crucial aspect of Benedict’s reform of the liturgy. He’s keeping his head down, as usual.

    Posted by Damian Thompson on 05 Nov 2007 at 16:27

  9. BK says:

    Archbishop Ranjith and Cardinal Hoyos laid much of the groundwork for the Pope’s Motu Proprio in the months leading up to the publication of Summorum Ponitificum.

    I must wonder if they are now laying the groundwork for the document from the PCED clarifying Summorum Ponitificum? If so, the clarification may be just as earth shaking as the document itself was!

  10. Dave Wells says:

    Father Z, a question from an ignorant layman:

    Is there anything in canon law that would prohibit a pastor from celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem, or would he need explicit permission from his bishop first?

    Along a related line, can the Canon of the Mass be recited in Latin, if the rest of the Mass (readings, prayers, etc) are in the vernacular? Or must it be an “all or nothing” approach?

    Many thanks, and God bless you for the work you do in this blog!

  11. TNCath says:

    How long will it take for the comments of Archbishop Ranjith to filter to the bishops who are trying to squelch Summorum Pontificum? And then, when they do, will they even pay attention? My biggest fear is that if the Holy See sits around and continues to allow more dissent from bishops, Summorum Pontificum will go the same way as Humamae Vitae, Essential Elements in the Church\’s Teaching on Religious Life, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and Vita Consecrata have.

  12. Michael says:

    If bishops are issuing instructions contrary to the Pope’s orders, then all Rome would have to do to keep that from taking effect would be to acknowledge it. Once the Pope says the Bishop does not get to define a stable group of the faithful, how can a priest be punished for disobedience? I suppose he could be moved around, but that would happen anyway. A statement would get rid of the intimidation factor.

  13. Athanasius says:

    I suppose he could be moved around, but that would happen anyway. A statement would get rid of the intimidation factor.

    That depends, a Bishop can make the life of a humble parish priest rather miserable. The real trick is, appointing Bishops who are of genuine good will and will not persecute priests who offer the Traditional liturgy, or do as that one Bishop did in Hungary who tore out the high altar in a Church where one of his priests said the extraordinary form.

  14. Henry Edwards says:

    Is there anything in canon law that would prohibit a pastor from celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem, or would he need explicit permission from his bishop first?

    It’s good to see you here, Dave. Father Z has often pointed out that, in the rubrics of the official Latin Missale Romanum (Novus Ordo 1973-2002) it appears a couple of places to assume the Mass is being celebrated ad orientem. E.g. where it says that the priest turns to the people to say “Orate, fratres, ….”. (Why would he need to turn if he were already facing the people?)

    Otherwise, there is rubrically no preference one way of the other. In “Spirit of the Liturgy”, Cardinal Ratzinger expressed his own preference for ad orientem celebration, and it is famously reported that’s the way he celebrates it in the papal chapel. Of course, a local bishop may have his own preference which — even though his permission is not required — he may be able to communicate convincingly to his own priests. Even so, there are a fair number of (widely scattered) parishes throughout the country that have never installed a free-standing altar for versus populum celebration.

    Along a related line, can the Canon of the Mass be recited in Latin, if the rest of the Mass (readings, prayers, etc) are in the vernacular? Or must it be an “all or nothing” approach?

    Indeed, such “mixed” Latin Masses are seen daily on EWTN and in certain scattered other places. (Though more commonly the canon is in English and other parts in Latin.)

    Finally, right here in your own diocese (and mine) an ad orientem Novus Ordo All Souls Mass was observed last week with the canon and various other parts in Latin and the readings in English. (Actually, I’ve never heard the readings in Latin at an otherwise Latin Novus Ordo Mass.)

  15. Malta says:

    The Pope has spoken of a smaller, more faithful Church. Perhaps it’s time to lift the excommunications v. SSPX, start reconciling on that front, and then let some of the de facto schismatics begin to fall from the Church like so many angels once did from heaven. I think its time for Rome to disgorge some of the rot in her belly; trim down, lift some weights, gain some muscle, and get into fighting shape!

  16. ALL: A couple points. First, if anyone doubted the words of Archbishop Ranjith when he spoke earlier this year about those who resist Summorum Pontificum as being instruments of the devil, their doubts have now been put to rest.  (For more go here and here.)

    Also, His Excellency’s position and willingness to speak up, together with the comments made recently by Msgr. Perl… well… I am getting a better and better feeling about the document that will come from the PCED.

  17. RBrown says:

    This is a bold statement coming from someone in Ranjith’s position, particularly since it is his congregation that is issuing (has issued?) the document clarifying SP. For him to say, critically, that there have been “even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio” would seem to not bode well for the Bishop’s issuing those documents. I am predicting that the coming “clarification” from the CDW will be in the form of a “cease and desist”(sp?) letter, hopefully with a definitive statement that there is NO NEED FOR ANY FURTHER INSTRUCTION FROM THE BISHOPS, and that their role is to respond to questions from clergy who need assistance implementing SP, and that is it!
    Comment by chironomo

    I think the document clarifying SP will come from the Ecclesia Dei Commission, not the Cong of Sacraments and Liturgy.

  18. TNCath says:

    I agree, Father Z., that the document that comes from the PCED will be solid and direct. I still am not so sure these bishops will pay attention to anything short of a personal phone call from the Holy Father himself, which wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  19. Athanasius says:

    Fr. Z said: Also, His Excellency’s position and willingness to speak up, together with the comments made recently by Msgr. Perl… well… I am getting a better and better feeling about the document that will come from the PCED

    Father,

    Yet his excellency also spoke of documents on abuses, which have “sadly remained dead letters.” How will this document be any different? Do you sense the Vatican is really going to make bishops obey? In our prior conversation, you outlined how JPII made incremental steps, allowing the worst of the worst while appointing a good Bishop here, and a good Bishop there. Will Pope Benedict and/or the PCED react in the same manner regarding this document, that is, not challenging the Bishops directly? I have a good feeling of the document too, but not of the enforcement. Say tomorrow the PCED puts out a document saying all we think it will, and Bishop Trautperson insists his norms are to be followed, what will Rome do? This is looking like a replay of the last 40 years. I want to be wrong by the way. I do not relish gloom and doom.

  20. Patrick says:

    I have not been aware of Archbishop Ranjith until now. I am quickly becoming an admirer.

    Is it possible that the Holy Father can just tell traditionalist priests that they can do as they please thereby undercutting the authority of hostile bishops?

    I am originally from Los Angeles. I heard that the parish I grew up in was the last in the archdiocese to move the altar forward allowing the priest to face the people. I think Cardinal Mahony ordered it to be done. Cardinal Mahony later visited the church and asked why the tabernacle wasn’t at the side somewhere. I hope that someday, before I die, the beautiful 16th century Spanish altar will be back where it was and the Traditional Mass will once again be offered there.

  21. RBrown says:

    The Pope has spoken of a smaller, more faithful Church. Perhaps it’s time to lift the excommunications v. SSPX, start reconciling on that front, and then let some of the de facto schismatics begin to fall from the Church like so many angels once did from heaven. I think its time for Rome to disgorge some of the rot in her belly; trim down, lift some weights, gain some muscle, and get into fighting shape!
    Comment by Malta

    The reconciliation with Rome must be started by the SSPX, with a statement of fidelity.

  22. RBrown says:

    Yet his excellency also spoke of documents on abuses, which have “sadly remained dead letters.” How will this document be any different? Do you sense the Vatican is really going to make bishops obey? In our prior conversation, you outlined how JPII made incremental steps, allowing the worst of the worst while appointing a good Bishop here, and a good Bishop there. Will Pope Benedict and/or the PCED react in the same manner regarding this document, that is, not challenging the Bishops directly? I have a good feeling of the document too, but not of the enforcement. Say tomorrow the PCED puts out a document saying all we think it will, and Bishop Trautperson insists his norms are to be followed, what will Rome do? This is looking like a replay of the last 40 years.
    Comment by Athanasius

    There are a few differences between documents now and then.

    1. It is well known that JPII was not an administrator and not all that interested in managing the internal affairs of the Church.

    2. As I aid before, Rome can deal with someone like Bp Trautman very easily. Give him a coadjutor and no say in who it is. Make the coadjutor young and aggressive, and sooner or later the old bishop gets tired of the situation and retired early (cf Boland in KC, Mo)

    Coadjutors are not titular bishops (I think at one time they were), but are named to the diocese itself. And so Rome can give the coadjutor all the authority in the diocese.

  23. Mark Jacobson says:

    When Pope Benedict finally sacks Cardinal Mahony (LA) and Bishop Tod Brown (OC) there will be much rejoicing in Heaven, as they have done more damage to the Faith of millions than any other US bishops (IMHO). Bishop Brown FORBIDS renovated churches in his diocese from placing the Tabernacle on the altar. And Cardinal Mahony was ruthless at ripping out altar rails and approving all sorts of wreckovations designed to ruin the Traditional Faith. I hope they are at least put on notice that they MUST support the Traditional Mass or step aside… it would be nice to have Vatican rules on renovations that ALL churches must be designed to accomodate the Traditional Latin Mass, including Tabernacle placement, altar rails, etc.

  24. Tom S. says:

    Here’s an interesting point, speaking of the SSPX.

    Isn’t one of the main objections of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX the fact that the various Bishops are allowed to run around contradicting the Holy See? This point has been made by Bishop Fellay numerous times. Could this public chastisement of such activities be intended not only to get the renegades to toe the line, but to show to the world (and thus the SSPX) that the Holy Father is serious about taking control of the Church?

  25. dcs says:

    Is it possible that the Holy Father can just tell traditionalist priests that they can do as they please thereby undercutting the authority of hostile bishops?

    Hasn’t he already done this? Summorum Pontificum gave priests the freedom to celebrate the traditional Mass. The problem is that bishops are trying to undercut it. An additional problem is that a bishop can make life very hard for a traditional priest regardless of whether or not he has the right to celebrate the TLM, for example, by assigning him to a hospital or prison chaplaincy instead of making him a pastor.

  26. Matthew Mattingly says:

    Does anyone notice that Cardinal Arinze, who as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments should be front and center leading the battle in favor of the Tridentine Latin Mass and in accordance to the Pope’s wishes is nowhere to be seen or heard? This is for two reasons:
    1). Arinze is actually 100% against the Motu Proprio and the return of the Tridentine Latin Mass. He even lead Curial opposition to it. He was among the most outspoken against it, whereas Archbishop Ranjith is 100% for the Pope and for the Tridentine Latin Mass. Because of this,
    2). Arinze has pretty much been sidelined, and relegated to “lame-duck” status in his own Congregation. The Pope relies on Ranjith much more. Arinze just turned 75, and hopefully will be given a “going-away” party in the style that Piero Marini enjoyed. Replaced with Ranjith I hope.

  27. Athanasius says:

    Now I’m confused Father. I asked a serious question, I wasn’t trying to be a smart @$$ or be difficult. Or did I get a sour grapes award because there is a lot of validity to my point?

  28. Athanasius: You do have a tendency to take the darkest view of things. I believe the indications are that this document is decidedly not a dead letter, even from the point of view of “enforcement”.

    I think we also need a new view, other than “enforcement”, of the persuasion it takes to aid implementation.

    I don’t think you have a valid point yet. Let’s give this some time and we shall see.

    In the meantime, I will remove the Award.

  29. Athanasius says:

    For what its worth, I’m much happier not having a valid point :D I want to see this thing work.

  30. BK says:

    Good coverage from CWN today:

    Catholic World News
    From Phil Lawler:

    It’s unusual for a top Vatican official to release public criticism of other bishops. It’s even more unusual when the criticism comes from the second-ranking official in a Vatican dicastery.

    The #2 man in the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Ranjith, has now issued two stinging rebukes to bishops who are blocking implementation of Summorum Pontificum. His very blunt statements are even more remarkable in light of the fact that Cardinal Arinze, his immediate superior as prefect of the Congregation, has been very quiet– in fact utterly silent, conspicuously silent– about the motu proprio.

    Is Archbishop Ranjith speaking out on his own initiative? If so, he’s endangering his future at the Vatican. But what if he’s not speaking on his own? What if he’s been encouraged to take such a strong stand? There’s only one person in Rome whose encouragement would be enough to push this mild-mannered prelate out onto the front lines.

    Vatican official decries opposition to Summorum Pontificum

    Rome, Nov. 5, 2007 (CWNews.com) – In an interview with the Italian Petrus web site, Archbishop Albert Ranjith Patabendige, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, acknowledged that the papal document, Summorum Pontificum, has been met in some dioceses with criticism and resistance. In some cases, the Sri Lankan prelate said, the hostility amounts to “rebellion against the Pope.”

    Reminding the interviewer, Bruno Volpe, that every bishop swears allegiance to the Roman Pontiff, Archbishop Ranjith said that “everyone, and particular every pastor, is called to obey the Pope, who is the successor to Peter.” He called bishops to follow the papal directive faithfully, “setting aside all pride and prejudice.”

    Archbishop Ranjith complained that in some dioceses, bishops and their representatives have set out policies “inexplicably” limiting the scope of the Pope’s motu proprio. He charged that the resistance to the Pope’s policy has been driven by “on the one hand, ideological prejudices, and on the other hand pride– one of the deadliest sins.”

    Early in October, in an address to the Latin Liturgy Association in the Netherlands, Archbishop Ranjith had delivered an equally blunt assessment of the response to Summorum Pontificum, saying that bishops were being “disobedient” to the Pope, and stifling the impact of the motu proprio by their policies. Diocesan bishops “do not have this right,” he said, and bishops who defy the Pope’s authority are allowing themselves “to be used as instruments of the devil.”

  31. Henry Edwards says:

    Athanasius: In the past I would have agreed with your “dark view”. But now with Summorum Pontificum, and not least with the process leading up to it, I believe that Pope Benedict has so changed the landscape that — even if he did no more, as he surely will — the restoration of Church and Mass is now historically inevitable. Only the pace and schedule, I believe, remain in question.

    The signs are visible all over. Well, not quite all over. It’s hardly to be expected, and hardly necessary, for the pace to be the same everywhere. It’s never been that way with the polarized issues in the Church.

    The Troutmans and the Mahoneys will have their diocesan norms, and nothing may happen in their dioceses until their retirements, both of which are within sight. Although I with you have longed for years for disloyal bishops to be put in their place — or, more precisely, out of it — their degradation is not necessary for the recovery of the Church. It’s a generational problem, and theirs is passing.

    At my age (if not at yours) a few decades can appear to make a big difference. But not so in the history of the Church, and it will surely take a few years, if not many decades. But, truly, for over three decades I never dreamed I’d see the progress that just the past two years have seen. In my personal case — which I believe is very typical of life in the trenches in fly-over territory — from no TLM at all, ever, within 200 miles, to one every Sunday within 20 miles. A few years more, and who knows?

    There’s likely no diocese in the country where there aren’t young priests and seminarians preparing — behind closed doors, if necessary — for the TLM, and their time will come. Inevitably.

  32. Paul Murnane says:

    Reminding the interviewer, Bruno Volpe, that every bishop swears allegiance to the Roman Pontiff, Archbishop Ranjith said that “everyone, and particular every pastor, is called to obey the Pope, who is the successor to Peter.”

    It certainly appears that some bishops have gotten their idea of loyalty to the pope from the Jesuits.

    Henry,

    Well said. Even here in LA, the signs are visible. There is much reason for optimism.

  33. Somerset '76 says:

    Isn’t one of the main objections of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX the fact that the various Bishops are allowed to run around contradicting the Holy See? This point has been made by Bishop Fellay numerous times. Could this public chastisement of such activities be intended not only to get the renegades to toe the line, but to show to the world (and thus the SSPX) that the Holy Father is serious about taking control of the Church?

    Tip o’the hat to the gentleman with a clue!

    So long as it’s still all talk and no action — even as one must acknowledge the talk’s getting a lot better lately — your average SSPX priest or supporter isn’t going to be all that receptive to regularization initiatives. For them, the sign that Rome means business (even more than the lifting of sanctions against themselves) will be anathemas, depositions, and excommunications for the neo-Modernist crowd.

    Read the AQ forum — a stronghold of SSPX supporters — and there are not just a few there interested to see if anything comes out of Archbishop Ranjith’s striking words.

  34. Gallicman says:

    Ranjith speaks: Episcopal “rebellion” going on; “Bishops and Cardinals” must obey the Pope

    Why should the Bishops obey?

    Benedict XVI cannot command anyone. Based on the Constitution of the Catholic Church and Collegiality, Benedict can only suggest not command. Each diocesan Bishop has the right to apply recommendations within the frame work of their mission and goals.

    This is why Benedict concludes his Motu Proprio in this manner:

    “In conclusion, dear Brothers, 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”

    Again Benedict cannot command. You local Bishop does not have to give you the True Mass if he does not want to.

  35. Pope Benedict XVI did not, however, say :
    “Each bishop, is in fact, a pope within his own diocese”

  36. pattif says:

    And furthermore, each Bishop promised obedience to the Pope and his successors at his episcopal ordination. The fact that “Each Bishop… is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese” doesn’t mean he has the unfettered right to do as he pleases.