Novara, Italy: priests on strike over saying the TLM

There is an alarming story going around in Italy, which CWN picked up.

Italian bishop suspends priests for insisting on Latin Mass

Rome, Nov. 26, 2007 (CWNews.com) – Bishop Renato Corti of Novara, Itay, has suspended 3 priests who refused to celebrate Mass on Sunday, according to the newspaper La Stampa.

Fathers Alberto Secci, Stefano Coggiola and Marco Pizzocchi refused to celebrate Sunday Masses after Bishop Corti said that they could not exclusively celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.

In Father Alberto Secci’s parish, parishioners insisted that they would only attend a traditional Latin Mass celebrated by Father Secci. Six hundred people signed a petition in support of their parish priest.

Father Stefano Coggiola’s parishioners were reportedly divided over their pastor’s decision. While one group supported the priest’s decision, another complained that their children did not like the Mass celebrated in Latin.

So, teach the little darlings.

Also, the Italian article in La Stampa says that the parish priest really "suspended himself", by which I suppose we are to understand that they on strike. The Bishop of Novara did not suspend the priests, it seems. The title of the article is "Lo sciopero della Messa… The Mass Strike".   A statement of the priests was pretty strong: "Quella in latino è la messa nella quale è stato battezzato ed è diventato prete anche il nostro vescovo. Non siamo parroci juke-box che oggi dicono una messa in italiano e un’altra in latino … The Mass in Latin is the Mass in which I wa baptized and even our bishop became a priest.  We are pastor juke-boxes who today say a Mass in Italian and another in Latin."  According to La Stampa the bishop is trying to avoid escalating the situation.

In any event, the Bp. of Novara made a statement in the daily of the CEI (Italian Bishops Conference), Avvenire.  In the article, Bp. Corti takes the nearly inevitable Party Line about the older Mass ("I’m in charge around here", being one element of The Party Line).

However, toward the end of the Avvenire piece, His Excellency says something I found interesting (in my translation):

The second motive is that the Motu Proprio should foster "a internal reconciliation in the heart of the Church".  It is clear that this hope expressed by the Pope requires, especially from priests, to fulfill those steps which have as their deep logic the internal unity of the parish itself, in welcoming the whole people of God entrusted to them; and next unity with the presbyterate and with the whole diocese, and in particular with the bishop.

 

Think about this.  The emphasis placed on unity with the bishop (cf. Vatican II and the vinculum between priest and bishop) is what I find interesting.  Some will argue that the Council stressed a rather new way of seeing the bishops, that is, as a kind of super-priest and pretty pope of his own local Church.  Just as a Pope can speak for the whole Church, some think that the bishop can speak for the whole diocese.  And since "unity" has been stressed so deeply in the comment above, especially unity with the bishop, must one conclude that if the bishop doesn’t prefer or celebrate the older Mass, then the priests should not prefer or celebrate the older Mass?  And if the priest does, in fact, prefer the older Mass, is he out of unity with the bishop?  Taking this another step, the priest should be in "unity" with the whole presbyterate.  That is a nice idea, but I have seen presbyterates torn into so many bitter factions that it is hard to see how there could even be a local Church.  But if some priest prefer or celebrate the older form of Mass, but the majority do not?  Are those priests simply to deny themselves what is their right for the sake of unity?

Is that truly "unity"?

Here is the Italian, which I don’t have time to translate.

 

Messa in latino, Corti: «Il criterio sia l’unità»

la riflessione

L’intervento del vescovo di Novara sull’attuazione del Motu proprio

In riferimento a voci che si susseguono nei giornali in ordine all’attuazione del Motu proprio sulla liturgia «Summorum Pontificum», pubblichiamo il testo che il vescovo di Novara, monsignor Renato Corti, ha indirizzato ai suoi sacerdoti e che porta il significativo titolo «La concorde unità della celebrazione liturgica»: ci pare prezioso in ordine alla formulazione di un giudizio su vicende oggi all’interesse della stampa.

A proposito del recente Motu proprio mi sembra opportuno ricordare anzitutto quanto viene detto da Benedetto XVI nell’Esortazione apostolica Sacramentum caritatis (22 febbraio 2007): «In relazione alla corretta ars celebrandi un compito imprescindibile spetta a coloro che hanno ricevuto il sacramento dell’ordine: vescovi, sacerdoti e diaconi, ciascuno secondo il proprio grado, devono considerare la celebrazione come loro principale dovere ».

A proposito del vescovo diocesano si afferma che egli «è la guida, il promotore e il custode di tutta la vita liturgica». Si aggiunge che «la comunione con il vescovo è la condizione perché ogni celebrazione sul territorio sia legittima». Perciò si conclude che «a lui spetta salvaguardare la concorde unità delle celebrazioni nella sua diocesi».

Pertanto dovrà «fare in modo che i presbiteri, i diaconi e i fedeli comprendano sempre più il senso autentico dei riti e dei testi liturgici e così siano condotti ad un’attiva e fruttuosa celebrazione dell’Eucaristia’» (n. 39).

Ho già commentato questo testo del Papa nell’omelia della Messa crismale del Giovedì Santo. Sono in dovere di applicarlo nel modo più pieno possibile e di chiedere ai sacerdoti di offrire il proprio contributo alla «concorde unità della celebrazione» eucaristica in diocesi.
Con riferimento specifico al Motu proprio del 7 luglio scorso sono stati resi noti interventi ufficiali, da parte della nostra diocesi, con una mia lettera e una nota del provicario generale. Tali interventi, pubblicati sul settimanale diocesano in data 14 luglio e sulla Rivista diocesana novarese (settembre 2007), erano rivolti ai sacerdoti e a tutti i fedeli come orientamento autorevole circa l’attuazione del documento.

Onde favorire una conoscenza diretta del pensiero del Santo Padre, ricordo di nuovo alcuni passaggi del Motu proprio.

Si legge che «il Messale Romano promulgato da Paolo VI è l’espressione ordinaria della ‘lex orandi’ della Chiesa cattolica di rito latino. Tuttavia il Messale Romano promulgato da san Pio V e nuovamente edito dal beato Giovanni XXIII deve venir considerato come espressione straordinaria della stessa ‘lex orandi’ e deve essere tenuto in debito onore per il suo uso venerabile e antico. Queste due espressioni della ‘lex orandi’ della Chiesa non porteranno in alcun modo a una divisione nella ‘lex credendi’ della Chiesa; sono infatti due usi dell’unico rito romano. Perciò è lecito celebrare il sacrificio della Messa secondo l’edizione tipica del Messale Romano promulgato dal beato Giovanni XXIII nel 1962 e mai abrogato, come forma straordinaria della liturgia della Chiesa» (art. 1). Il Papa aggiunge: «Nelle parrocchie, in cui esiste stabilmente un gruppo di fedeli aderenti alla precedente tradizione liturgica, il parroco accolga volentieri le loro richieste per la celebrazione della santa Messa secondo il rito del Messale Romano edito nel 1962. Provveda a che il bene di questi fedeli si armonizzi con la cura pastorale ordinaria della parrocchia, sotto la guida del vescovo a norma del canone 392, evitando la discordia e favorendo l’unità di tutta la Chiesa». E ancora: «La celebrazione secondo il Messale del beato Giovanni XXIII può aver luogo nei giorni feriali; nelle domeniche e nelle festività si può avere anche una celebrazione del genere ( una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest) » (Art. 5, § 1-2).

Nella lettera che accompagna il Motu proprio Benedetto XVI afferma che «ovviamente per vivere la piena comunione, anche i sacerdoti delle comunità aderenti all’uso antico non possono in linea di principio, escludere la celebrazione secondo i libri nuovi. Non sarebbe infatti coerente con il riconoscimento del valore e della santità del nuovo rito l’esclusione totale dello stesso».

Come si vede, il Motu proprio può essere messo in atto «nelle parrocchie nelle quali esiste stabilmente un gruppo di fedeli aderenti alla precedente tradizione liturgica». Qualora esistano tali condizioni, nelle domeniche e nelle feste è obbligatorio celebrare le sante Messe in piena conformità al Messale di Paolo VI indicato come «forma ordinaria».

Rimane possibile celebrare una santa Messa (una sola) nella «forma straordinaria», e cioè quella del Messale di Giovanni XXIII.

Tale celebrazione, destinata al «coetus fidelium» che l’ha chiesta, non deve sostituire le Messe nella «forma ordinaria», destinate all’intera comunità parrocchiale. Da parte dei parroci va dunque garantita la «forma ordinaria» della celebrazione eucaristica, soprattutto nei giorni di festa e nelle domeniche.

Voglio concludere dando evidenza a due intenzioni che hanno condotto il Papa a scrivere il Motu proprio. La prima è che la riforma liturgica venga compresa e praticata in tutta la sua ricchezza. In tal modo «nella celebrazione della Messa secondo il Messale di Paolo VI potrà manifestarsi, in maniera più forte di quanto non lo è spesso finora, quella sacralità che attrae molti all’antico uso. La garanzia più sicura che il Messale di Paolo VI possa unire le comunità parrocchiali e venga da loro amato consiste nel celebrare con grande riverenza in conformità alle prescrizioni; ciò rende visibile la ricchezza spirituale e la profondità teologica di questo Messale».
La seconda intenzione è che il Motu proprio favorisca «una riconciliazione interna nel seno della Chiesa». È evidente che questa speranza espressa dal Papa chiede, in particolare ai sacerdoti, di compiere dei passi che abbiano come logica profonda l’unità interna alla parrocchia stessa, nell’accoglienza di tutto il popolo di Dio loro affidato; e poi l’unità con il presbiterio e con la diocesi intera, e in particolare con il vescovo. Tenendo conto di questo suggerimento del Papa si eviteranno incertezze e sofferenze nelle nostre comunità. Si favorirà inoltre che, nel prossimo futuro, grande sia la premura nei confronti della celebrazione liturgica in tutte le nostre comunità, così da valorizzare le ricchezze che i santi riti contengono. Prego Dio perché questo spirito di unità venga chiaramente testimoniato.

Renato Corti, vescovo di Novara 

 

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26 Responses to Novara, Italy: priests on strike over saying the TLM

  1. Richard says:

    Oh, and I’m sure that when Mass is said in Italian the children are just glowing with excitement.

  2. RichR says:

    I’m torn on this one.

    Would a priest be similarly disciplined if he refused to celebrate a TLM and wanted to say the NOM exclusively? That’s a valid form of Mass, too. Is he considered suspect because he doesn’t like the old Mass? Traditional priests who don’t want to say the NOM are automatically suspected as being Lefebrvists. Why aren’t priests who refuse the TLM automatically considered Modernists?

    I just don’t know about this one. I think the priest should be obedient to his Bishop, and I don’t think it is too much to ask a priest to say at least one NOM a day/Sunday. I also think this should have been done through the proper channels. Why not ask the Bishop for a personal parish? Is this the way to get that?

    I just don’t know. I will be watching this story unfold….and the comments, too.

    Fr Z, should we be cheering this or not? Should priests have this option of going EF/TLM only?

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Fathers Alberto Secci, Stefano Coggiola and Marco Pizzocchi refused to celebrate Sunday Masses after Bishop Corti said that they could not exclusively celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.

    In Father Alberto Secci’s parish, parishioners insisted that they would only attend a traditional Latin Mass celebrated by Father Secci. Six hundred people signed a petition in support of their parish priest.

    Is the circumstance here that Fr. Secci’s parish has only one Mass on Sunday (which is the ideal, of course), and 600 of his parishioners are in favor of it being the Extraordinary Form? It seems that he could say two Masses — one in the EF, one in the OF — but given the clause “could not exclusively celebrate the traditional Latin Mass”, it sounds like he’s not considering that as an option.

    In his explanatory letter, Pope Benedict said: “Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating 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.”

  4. Jim says:

    Perhaps the suspicion is a bit too rapid on this one. It indicated that they were told they could not celebrate the extraordinary form -exclusively-. We’re all aware of the kind of ‘rad-trads’ out there who can take things to an extreme. These are parish priests, not FSSP priests, and they have an obligation to provide the entire Roman Rite to their parishioners. The Motu Proprio shouldn’t be read in such a way that the rights of those folks who prefer the ordinary form are trounced automatically as well. The pastor has not only a responsibility to provide for the parishioners who request the extraordinary form, but also the responsibility to provide the ordinary form of the rite. We can argue about whether extraordinary means ‘rare’ or ‘less frequent’ (if Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are an example then that definition must be far from the truth), but no matter how much we bicker it seems silly to say that the ORDINARY form could be suppressed in a parish by the pastor. He can’t set up a special parish on his own, and if that is what these three guys were trying to do then the bishop was well within his rights and responsibilities to suspend them.

  5. dcs says:

    Jeff Pinyan writes:
    In his explanatory letter, Pope Benedict said: “Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating 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.”

    Yes, that is true, but it is not a matter of law.

    Jim writes:
    These are parish priests, not FSSP priests, and they have an obligation to provide the entire Roman Rite to their parishioners. The Motu Proprio shouldn’t be read in such a way that the rights of those folks who prefer the ordinary form are trounced automatically as well. The pastor has not only a responsibility to provide for the parishioners who request the extraordinary form, but also the responsibility to provide the ordinary form of the rite.

    Yes, that is true, but I think one will search in vain for the Church law that says a priest can be suspended for saying only one form of the Mass. Perhaps what the priests did is blameworthy, but absent any other issues one wonders whether the penalty of suspension is truly deserved.

  6. danphunter1 says:

    Bravo! to those three brave priests.
    May our sweet Lord continue to support them in their powerful faith.
    God bless the Church

  7. Ottaviani says:

    Perhaps what the priests did is blameworthy, but absent any other issues one wonders whether the penalty of suspension is truly deserved.

    The penalty of suspension is deserved by only one person in this case.

  8. CPT Tom says:

    Clearly these priest are being disobedient to their bishop, and the letter and spirit of the motu proprio. The latter I’m pretty sure states that priests are supposed to acknowledge the validity of both forms. Seems the pastoral thing to do would be to have the priest say a ordinary form mass as well. These priests should comply with what is a reasonable expectation from their bishop.

    I see a basic problem problem though with emphisizing the unity with the bishop over the unity with the pope or the Church…if it is assumed that if the bishop doesn’t prefer the extraordinary form, that out of “unity” none of his priests should celebrate in the extraordinary form this would have the effect of nullifying the motu proprio in those diocese with Bishops who don’t like the EF. It also is one of the major causes of the balkanization of the Church we’ve seen over the last few decades. This certainly runs counter to the principle of a universal Church.

  9. schoolman says:

    I recall that Bishop Williamson (SSPX) had mentioned this development in one of his recent letters. I had the impression from Bishop Williamson that this was not a case of simple preference for the TLM. Rather, it involved rejection of the NOM as a matter of principle. That is where these 3 priests run up against the letter of the law in Summorum Pontificum. Now these priests might have positioned thier case differently. It could have been argued that the TLM was more suitable for them as priests, etc. In other words, I think the law allows priests to celebrate one form exclusively by virtue of some subjective disposition. The problem seems to be when one makes the case on priciciple or some other criteria that effectively denies the objective value of the NOM.

  10. danphunter1 says:

    Ottoviani,
    Exactly.
    God bless you.

  11. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Thank you for highlighting the exclusive portion. Pastors do not enjoy the right to have the extraordinary form offered exclusively. As pointed out above, it is expressly reserved to the bishop to create such a parish.

    Having said that, it would be interesting to know how other parishes in that diocese are accomodating the MP> 600 congregants is a large number, and I would be shocked if such a large numbers were confined to a few parishes.

  12. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    I agree that there’s a lot of information we still don’t know about the case, especially with the “exclusive” description. However, Father Zuhlsdorf is right to focus on the bishop’s argument about unity between priests and their Ordinary. My question is, how much are priests obliged to be in “unity” with their bishop when the bishop is not in a similar “unity” with the Holy Father or with the immemorial customs (yes, customs rather than Tradition—divine revelation) and traditions of the Church?

    What keeps coming to mind are priests’ and bishops’ responses in the Protestant revolution—would, under this logic, the priests of every bishop save one in England during the reign of Henry VIII been morally obliged to follow their bishops into schism and heresy? As I understand the Church’s teaching, only the Successor to Saint Peter and the bishops collectively.

    If, as the post inferred, this bishop is not in full agreement and compliance with Summorum Pontificum and intends to “interpret” it out of implementation, how much can he demand “unity” by his priests on the matter? Who is really breaking the “vinculum between priests and bishops” here?

    In Christ,

  13. Pavegs says:

    While I admire these priests for thier desire to celebrate the mass in extraordinary form they have done percicely what the Holy Father wished to avoid. The extraordinary form is just that, the “extraordinary form”. It is not meant to replace the Novus Ordo. Whether the bishop should have suspended them or not is not for me to decide, but what these priests have done (if i understand this right) is to have caused disunity and scandal. What is the problem with celebrating both forms?

  14. Masone says:

    I’m Italian, and I’m writing from Italy.

    I very much dislike the rigidity, the lack of carity and obedience, the intellectual weakness sometimes, of SOME traditionalists.

    That being said, I think that, before judging, we need to know more.

    Here’s a quotation from the “Stampa” of yesterday: according to the Turin newspaper, H. E. Most Rev. monsignor Renato Corti, bishop of Novara, declared:

    «Bisogna fare in modo che si comprenda il senso autentico dei riti e dei testi liturgici; nelle domeniche e nelle feste è obbligatorio celebrare le messe in piena conformità al messale di Paolo VI, la forma ordinaria in italiano. Resta possibile celebrare una messa (una sola) nella forma straordinaria con il messale di Giovanni XXIII, in latino. Questa non deve sostituire quelle ordinarie.»

    My translation:

    «We must get people to understand the true sense of liturgical rites and texts. On Sundays and feasts [of obligation], it is compulsory that masses be celebrated in full conformity with the missal of Paul VI; [in other words,] the ordinary form, in Italian[, should be celebrated]. It is allowed to celebrate one mass (only one) in the extraordinary form, using the missal of John XXIII, in Latin. This [extraordinary form mass] must not supplant the ordinary ones.»

    To be fair, this seems correct, at least as a whole. Compare art. 5, § 2 of “Summorum Pontificum”:

    “Celebratio secundum Missale B[eati] Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest.”

    Nevertheless, I’ve got some doubts about the last sentence:

    “This [extraordinary form mass] must not supplant the ordinary ones.”

    According to bishop Corti, it is not allowed to celebrate, on Sundays and feasts of obligation, only one extraordinary form mass; it is only permitted to celebrate one extraordinary form mass, in addition to one or more ordinary form masses. At least, this is how I understand his words. (I suppose he has in mind parish churches.)

    Do you think the bishop of Novara is right? Is there a canonist who might help?

    The three parish priests reportedly declared (see the “Stampa”: http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cmsSezioni/cronache/200711articoli/27898girata.asp): “We aren’t juke-box parish priests: we can’t celebrate one mass in Italian and one in Latin”. It sounds funny, doesn’t it?

    Those three priests are very probably wrong, for many a reason. But, is the bishop of Novara quite right?

  15. Ann Koch says:

    The word that jumped out at me was “exclusively.” Am I correct in understanding that the priests in question wanted to provide TLM but not the NOM? I don’t get the impression from the story that there was any suppressing of TLM going on, simply a Bishop using his authority to insist on the Ordinary form of the Mass be given each Sunday even if it must be in addition to the extraordinary form. The Bishop does not seem to plan on suppressing TLM, he only desires that it not be the ONLY mass presented for the people–at least this is how it reads to me. As the Priests are under authority, then rather than be stubborn or rebellious, they ought to have offered BOTH TLM and the NOM instead of attempting to insist on only one over the other.

    I think the priests will do well to submit to legitimate authority and then go through proper channels to request permission to use TLM exclusively, and if they are told no (as seems to have happened), then to ask to offer it in addition to the Ordinary form and if again they are told no, to submit to proper authority.

    Bishops are only human beings so perhaps they do make mistakes or hold poor attitudes–but that doesn’t excuse poor attitudes in anyone else–including disobedience when the issue is not a matter of sin.

    Ah well, take my $.02 worth for whatever its true worth might be.

  16. Ottaviani says:

    Even if these three priests were in the “wrong”, the bishop has acted most uncharitably and beneath the dignity of a shepherd to souls. He could have heard their cases and at best directed them to a fraternity exclusively dedicated to the traditional Roman rite. Suspending priests will merely excerbate the situation.

    Incidentally the 1986 Papal Commission called by John Paul II to establish the status of the old rite (of which a certain Cardinal Ratzinger was a member), also concluded that no priest can be forced to say the new mass.

  17. catholiclady says:

    Hope this does not constitute too much “drift” but when I hear “say” the Mass – it prickles me. Shouldn’t it be “pray” the Mass?

  18. danphunter1 says:

    That these three brave priests are refusing to offer the NO is not really surprising.
    We shall begin to see a lot more of this as the NO withers away.
    God bless His Holiness,God bless the world.

  19. schoolman says:

    The following from Bishop Williamson (SSPX) gives some additional context to this story…

    ————-
    Westward Ho
    Eleison Comments XIV

    A recent case in Northern Italy confirms that in the Church’s ongoing difficulties, hope lies rather at grassroots than with the Hierarchy. Three mainstream Italian parish priests, seminary comrades of ten to fifteen years ago, have been learning over the last several months to say the true Mass. Two of them have resolved “never again”…. hmm…. to say the Novus Ordo Mass. One of these has smashed his Newaltar facing the people. A charming reversal!

    They asked their bishop if they could say the true Mass in public. He said it would be alright, if it was alright by Rome. They went down to Rome to ask. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission said it would be alright “as long as there is no confrontation” — as though confrontation can be avoided in the war to the death between Catholicism and Conciliarism!

    Sure enough. Their bishop has now written to them, requiring of them “to obey”. We all know what that means — “Shape up (Novus Ordo shape) or ship out”. Either they buckle under, or they are “suspended”, “excommunicated” etc., in any case expelled from their parishes. An old pattern…
    http://dinoscopus.blogspot.com/2007/10/westward-ho.html
    —————-

    Again, if all of this is true then it would seem that these 3 priests have exceeded the letter and spirit of Summorum Pontificum.

  20. RBrown says:

    Canon Law notwithstanding, Bp Conti is almost 72, which means he is of of that generation that went thought very strict formation before the Council, then shortly afterward the Church was liberalized. He then took his very strict approach and applied it to a liberalized Church. The result is Liberal Fascism–someone who seems more charitable to Moslems than priests who want to use the 1962 Missal.

    Incidentally, the diocesan stats indicate that the good Bp of Novara isn’t exactly the Vocation King: 454 diocesan priests when he took over in 1990; as of 2004, there were 388.

  21. Christopher says:

    Peace be with you.

    It seems correct to consider unity with obedience. The virtue of obedience is directed to those who have the right to be obeyed, i.e. an authority. An authority makes his will known by an order, an authoritative command. This order given is law. Law is only lawful insofar as it is of reason. Order binds the ruled, and the law is the means by which obedience is given. Justice is the situation where true law is in practice. Unity only exists in Justice.

    We may conclude: Anything outside reason is unlawful, for the law can only be reasonable. Any command without reason is to part of authority, and thus not an order. Any situation that is not just is outside the bounds of law. Anything that is truly reasonable must be just. If a proclaimed unity is of injustice, it is not a unity, but a collection of isolations. If there are five men in unity, and three become unjust by abdication of law and reason, they are not in unity, but become a collection of isolations, the two remaining preserve the unity of the whole.

    May God bless you.
    Holy Mary protect you.
    -Christopher

  22. Dan J. Howell says:

    Is this a case that is going to be sent to Ecclesia Dei and might be a watershed moment? Is the advisory paper that is suppose to be coming up is going to answer these questions? In my mind this is down right crazy. I hope the Pontifical Commission brings forth so resoultion.

  23. Scott Smith says:

    Is the Bishop asking them to do anything that is illegal, immoral, or unethical?

    Are these priests conscientious objectors with respect to celebrating the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI?

    I am not sure that the Bishop is asking them to do anything that they had a problem doing when they were ordained (likely by the newer rite). I do not think that a priest has the option to refuse to celebrate the Mass in the use he was ordained in just because he prefers the TLM.

    Obedience is still a virtue in the Catholic Religion, and it would not be much of a virtue if it was often easy.

  24. Peter Moscatelli says:

    Beware of the media! It may be true that the priests risk suspension, but as of now they are not suspended. How about making a true contribution to the situation in Italy by praying for a compromise/solution in this specific case? If the motu proprio is thwarted in Italy, I’d think it will be even worse in the rest of the Catholic world; with a positive outcome according to the letter and spirit of the motu proprio, much will be gained for everybody.

  25. Brian Mershon says:

    Christpher,

    To conclude then, according to St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, an unjust law is truly no law at all. An unjust command based upon an unjust law is no command that deserves to be obeyed. In fact, in grave situations, the recipient of the unjust command could be obligated to disobey the unjust law.

    Correct?

  26. ALL: This seems to be spinning out of control. I am closing the com box.