Archd. of Washington, DC: over complicating Summorum Pontificum?

The Archdiocese of Washington has issued a letter to priests about the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.  Someone sent it to me by e-mail but it is in the hated pdf format.

It contains a strange statement. 

After talking about a committee to be established "to assist pastors in evaluating and responding to requests for the regular and public celebration" of the older form of Mass, the letter goes on:

In the near future, Archbishop Wuerl will appoint a Coordinator of the Extraordinary Form to serve as chaiman of the special committee.  Because the archbishop has the responsibility to foster a common discipline in the celebration of the sacrament within the archdiocese (C. 392), his permission must be received prior to making any permanent commitments by a parish for the public celebration of the Extraordinary Form on a regular basis.  This also is in accord with Article 5 of Summorum Pontificum which state that public or regularly scheduled Masses be offered under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favoring the unity of the whole Church.  To request this permission pastors first must seek the review and counsel of the Coordinator of the Extraordinary Form, who will then present a recommendation to the archbishop.

 

Excuse me… but does it seem to you that even though they acknowledge the existence of Summorum Pontificum out of one side of their mouths, they are actually ignoring its existence in what they say with the other side?  The way I read this, it sounds like they have simply forced all priests back to the status quo ante, as if the Motu Proprio didn’t exist at all and the diocesan bishop still had control over all public celebrations.   In other words, even though SP Art. 5, § 1 says that pastors make these decisions, the archbishop is claiming for himself that right and, at the same time, is imposing an additional layer of burocracy on the process.  Or am I getting this wrong?

The letter goes on:

Priests seeking to celebrate the rite for the very first time with or without the people [??] should ask for a review of their abilities by the Coordinator and the special committee.  Additionally, pastors are reminded that visiting priests who request to celebrate the Extraordinary Form with the archdiocese should present a letter of good-standing (C. 903) which attests to their abilities in this form.

For pity’s sake. 

Yes, I know that it could be argued that they are only trying to be sure that celebrations of Mass are reverent and properly carried out.  But… I think they are really trying to crush the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, making it a titanic pain in the rear to get involved with it.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Archd. of Washington, DC: over complicating Summorum Pontificum?

  1. Somerset '76 says:

    I would certainly hope that the clarifications document coming from PCED would declare all of these local regulations null and superseded by the norms it plans to issue. That provision alone would be a truly meaningful sign of Rome’s seriousness.

  2. TNCath says:

    This is getting bizarre. The tone of the letter definitely sounds negative. Compare the tone of the “directives” from Archbishop Wuerl and Cardinal Rigali with the welcoming of the Motu Proprio from Archbishop Burke of St. Louis.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/07/archbp-burke-on-the-motu-proprio/

    It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in English to tell the difference. Wuerl and Rigali seem to be on the “containment side” of this issue a la Bishops Steib, Trautman, et al.

    Again, we have to patiently watch and wait to see what Eccelsia Dei says about this in the forthcoming clarification document. But, I’m thinking that these bishops who are trying to “contain” the Extraordinary Form feel they must do it before somebody tells them to the contrary, hoping everybody will quickly forget about it.

  3. matthew says:

    Hi Fr. Z,
    PDF hate? You can still copy and paste just like in WORD.
    You can even do text edits inside a PDF.

  4. JML says:

    About what I expected from the Archbishop.

  5. Christopher says:

    Once again- where is the Coordinator to oversee proper celebration of the Ordinary Form, and are they requiring visiting priests that want to celebrate the ordinary form to show a letter of good standing.

    Gotta Love the Double Standards

  6. Fr.A says:

    “…does it seem to you that even though they acknowledge the existence of Summorum Pontificum out of one side of their mouths, they are actually ignoring its existence in what they say with the other side?”

    Yes.

  7. Patrick Rothwell says:

    This is a very unfortunate policy.

  8. Guy Power says:

    Fr. Z,

    To cut and paste a pdf:

    1. Select Control+A (select All)
    2. Select Control+C (copy All)
    3. Open a Word document
    4. Select Control+V (paste All)

    It works.

    Now for a bit of Tangental Fun:
    “Latin in the Movies”

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8
    I think the instructor is probably Centurio Reginaldus Fosterus? From Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” … sorry — but it IS funny!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwEIkXMfL1E
    “In vino veritas” scene from “Tombstone” (you have to wait a bit for the buildup). “Doc” Holiday v. Johnny Ringo:

    Cheers,
    –Guy

  9. Bryan says:

    And this surprises everyone because…???????

    I’m not being uncharitable. Really. But, does ANY of this surprise you?

    Our Holy Father, in a nice way, backhanded the ordinaries who showed less than charitable
    implementation of the superceded Ecclesia Dei. They are acting like the spoiled children
    (as in emotionally infantile) and stamping their feet because they are out of the loop
    in the final analysis.

    But they want to continue to obfuscate/prevent/whatever.

    Spoiled.

  10. TNCath says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the number one thing driving the bishops to resist Summorum Pontificum is FEAR. They are afraid of the ramifications of this document and what it might just accomplish! They want “status quo.” They don’t wan’t anyone or anything to challenge their comfort zones because, quite frankly, Summorum Pontificum is an uncomfortable document that basically calls to the bishops’ attention that liturgical practice the last 40 years has suffered and that it’s time to do something about it. They might provide pious “lip service” to a Motu Proprio, but many just don’t want to deal with it.

  11. fr christopher says:

    One wonders, haven’t any of these bishops, liturgy directors, advisors, maybe even the bishop’s secretary, seen WDTPRS and come to realize what type of “guidelines” would be acceptable and which would be over-reaching. I’m not be sarcastic here.

    Certain bishops surely know how the system works and are playing it well. They know to create restrictive guidlines now and in doing so it will make any clarifications from PCED difficult and soft-shoed, as the Holy See does not make a habit of “correcting” bishops. Should the PCED make strong clarifications, then the bishop will just ignore it and not revoke or issue new guidlines as he need not have issued guidlines to begin with. The old guidlines will stand as law in his local church and any cleric who acts contrary would be disobedient to his bishop. Of course a pastor could fight it but then he better really like his present parish as he’ll be there a long long time. An associate priest could raise concerns with his bishop but then he won’t be a pastor for years to come. A priest could undergo the testing and jump all the hurdles, but he would have to be blind not to realize that he is promoting something his bishop isn’t all that keen on – and if he has any sense he will realize his name will be put on that unwritten “list”, and well…

    We have smart, creative, cleaver bishops…let’s pray they place some of those gifts at the service of the Kingdom.

  12. ArlingtonDio says:

    Perhaps the Holy Father should celebrate his Mass at the Washington National’s new baseball stadium in the Extradorinary Form. (Assuming Abp Wuerl’s coordinator consents of course.) Now that would cause a shockwave.

    Speaking of the 44,000-seat stadium Mass, why is this not taking place on the National Mall where hundreds of thousands or more could assist?

  13. Mary Jane says:

    Who gets to be “Coordinator”? In the worst case, it will be someone with a “certificate” in liturgy who is already predisposed against the Rite. In the best case, it would be Father Z.

  14. Tom says:

    It seems to me that the “implementation” in Washington is along the lines of the response to Summorum Pontificum in Dallas.

    A Dallas committee has been charged to “to assess the Pastoral needs of the people as well as the capacity of our priests and parishes to celebrate the Mass in this Form.”

    Summorum Pontificum was issued nearly seven months ago.

    But based upon the Dallas Diocese’s response to said Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum apparently does not exist…and now, Summorum Pontificum doesn’t exist in the Archdiocese of Washington.

    A few months ago, I would have reacted negatively toward the response that Summorum Pontificum has received in Washington. But I have come to accept reality.

    With few exceptions, our bishops are not interested in promoting the TLM. The same applies to 99 percent of “Latin” Catholics.

    Dallas…Washington…it’s all the same.

    With few exceptions, bishops and laity are not even interested in promoting the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin.

    Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when adherence to Summorum Pontificum is of little interest to said folks.

  15. Guy: I know about these things. The hated pdf is secured so that there can be no copying.

  16. Henry Edwards says:

    Obviously, diocesan liturgy offices and the like are working fast and furious to get these restrictive measures set in place as rapidly as possible.

    And I have the impression that many (if not most) bishops, including well-respected ones, have a general policy of approving essentially anything that comes up for their signatures through bureaucratic channels from the appropriate diocesan offices.

    I recall a bishop saying (regarding a liturgical matter) that otherwise he needed clearcut and strong backing from above, because he had to live with his entrenched chancery bureaucracy on a daily basis.

    Without meaning to give one and all a pass, I wonder if this could explain some of these episcopal statements we\’re seeing.

  17. BK says:

    Comment by TNCath: “Again, we have to patiently watch and wait to see what Eccelsia Dei says about this in the forthcoming clarification document. But, I’m thinking that these bishops who are trying to “contain” the Extraordinary Form feel they must do it before somebody tells them to the contrary, hoping everybody will quickly forget about it.”

    No! Every single layman and priest affected by these bishops’ restrictive “litlle tittle” policies and guidelines that attempt to nullify Summorum Pontificum needs to write a brief and respectful letter to PCED begging their swift and decisive intervention. The opponents of Summorum Pontificum are not simply patiently watching and waiting to see what Eccelsia Dei says. They are proactively undermining both Summorum Pontificum and any subsequent attempts to “clarify” it.

    Comment by fr christopher: “They know to create restrictive guidlines now and in doing so it will make any clarifications from PCED difficult and soft-shoed, as the Holy See does not make a habit of “correcting” bishops. Should the PCED make strong clarifications, then the bishop will just ignore it and not revoke or issue new guidlines as he need not have issued guidlines to begin with. The old guidlines will stand as law in his local church and any cleric who acts contrary would be disobedient to his bishop.

    Exactly.

    That is why the rest of us need to send an avalanche of brief, respectful letters to PCED begging them to act swiftly and decisively.

  18. Lindsay says:

    I think what I find most troubling from DC and Philly is that, as someone from a more liberal diocese sandwiched in between, I had considered those two to be more conservative. It is disconcerting to find the more traditionally conservative dioceses behaving in this manner. It does dash one\’s hopes a bit.

  19. Mark says:

    Satan does not lose a battle without a fight…

  20. BK says:

    His Eminence
    Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos
    President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
    Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio
    00120 VATICAN CITY

  21. Paul Murnane says:

    It will be interesting to see if the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is addressed by the Holy Father during his April 15th meeting with the bishops. I would hope that it would be, although I’m sure the bureaucrats at the USCCB are doing their best to shape the agenda. If it’s not addressed, I believe the recalcitrant bishops will be even more emboldened and likely to effectively disregard the clarification statement forthcoming from PCED.

    TNCath,

    Notice that Archbishop Burke’s letter was issued immediately after SP was issued as was likely written by the Archbishop himself. Anything issued now has been filtered and shaped by ever-helpful entrenched staffs who undoubtedly were formed (liturgically speaking) in the 1970’s. To that point, Henry’s post above is spot-on.

  22. Reader: Alleluia in the 3rd Tone: In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me not be put to

    shame in the age to come.

    Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

    Reader: Be Thou unto me a God to defend me and a house of refuge to save me.

    I had attempted to post something else. perhaps this is really what the Lord wants to say to all of us. Another God-incidence?
    Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

    Reader: In the 4th Tone: The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them, and He

    delivered them out of all their tribulations.

    Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

  23. BK says:

    Comment by Henry Edwards: “Obviously, diocesan liturgy offices and the like are working fast and furious to get these restrictive measures set in place as rapidly as possible.”

    And maybe these restrictive measures were already in the pipeline…but the clarification from PCED was strongly rumored to be coming in December or January. The fact that this clarification has not yet materialized may have emboldened hierarchs that may otherwise have been “obedient” — had the clarification come in a more timely fashion.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. These restrictive measures are filling the vacuum created by the inaction of Rome in the face of the open rebellion of certain bishops against Summorum Pontificum.

  24. Tom says:

    “I think what I find most troubling from DC and Philly is that, as someone from a more liberal diocese sandwiched in between, I had considered those two to be more conservative. It is disconcerting to find the more traditionally conservative dioceses behaving in this manner. It does dash one’s hopes a bit.”

    That doesn’t surprise me. During the past 40 or so years, resistance to the TLM and traditionalism has been fierce among conservative Catholics.

    Liberal Catholics, as compared to conservatice Catholics, have often expressed greater tolerance regarding the TLM.

    I have found that at least within the Dallas Diocese, fierce resistance to the TLM (even to a bit of Latin mixed into Novus Ordo Masses)exists among conservative priests and lay folks.

  25. Charles Ryder says:

    Fr.,

    You can also run any PDF file through this website and it will spit out a text version of whatever it contained.

    http://pdftextonline.com/

  26. Brian2 says:

    Tom: do you (or anyone else) know anything about the rumor going round that the Mater Dei community has been given the green light to build/buy a church somewhere?

  27. Fr. Michael says:

    I have a few thoughts to gently offer this afternoon.

    1. It must be an awful burden to carry as a bishop of a diocese, that is, to regulate and nurture the liturgical life of the local Church. It is reason 4,589 why I never wish to be a bishop (the list of why I will never be asked to be a bishop is, of course, much much longer).

    2. I’ve noticed over the years a subtle fact of life: priests die, priests get reassigned. I wonder if a possible concern of the bishop and the chancery is that if a regular Ext. Form gets established in a parish, what happens when a different priest is assigned, perhaps, a pastor who is unable to celebrate Mass according to the Extr. Form? Might “containment” be a prudent posture, so as to ensure regular celebrations firmly rooted in the broader parish and diocesan life? Heaven knows the Church has enough people roaming from parish to parish based on the priest, rather than being firmly rooted in their own parish where they bring their children, pour their blood into the bricks, and will be buried from.

    3. The phenomenon we are experiencing, is a coming-together (I’m trying to stay away from violent images – since the national media are so keen to employ violent words such as “clash” “attacked” “etc, when describing politics and we in the blog world seem to be oh so ready to utilize “Us vs. Them” language) of two truths: 1. Summorum Pontificum gives authority to Pastors. 2. The bishop has the awful and tremendous burden of regulating the liturgical life of his diocese and ensuring that the Lord is worshiped properly.

    4. I often read here and elsewhere the claim, “The Ordinary Form isn’t regulated – so many priests celebrate such awful Ord. Form liturgies! Where’s the bishop then?” I think that is a fine fine statement and such abuses and such horrible liturgies should be corrected with a shepherd’s care. However, in this setting that same line seems to be used just as a 2nd grader would use it. “Bobby got to go to the bathroom, why can’t I? Suzie got extra french fries, where are mine?” Just b/c the Ord. Form has been celebrated poorly in some places during the past 40 years doesn’t mean the Extr. Form gets such free license.

    5. I offer the above with humility. And on this Feast of St. Thomas, I pray for greater insight and I pray for our bishops who carry such burdens on their shoulders daily.

  28. Father Anonymous says:

    Looks like someone’s testy he didn’t get a red hat.

  29. TNCath says:

    Fr. Michael wrote: “I often read here and elsewhere the claim, ‘The Ordinary Form isn’t regulated – so many priests celebrate such awful Ord. Form liturgies! Where’s the bishop then?’ I think that is a fine fine statement and such abuses and such horrible liturgies should be corrected with a shepherd’s care.”

    This is all very true, but when the bishop himself doesn’t even celebrate the Ordinary Form properly, then what does one do? Express our concerns in writing to the bishop and get a “Thank you very much, now buzz off!” reply and sit in stony silence as we are forced to do? Write the nuncio and wait two years for a response, which may or may not result in anything substantial? Believe me, if the shepherds had been tending the liturgical sheep these past 40 years, we wouldn’t have had to have had a Motu Proprio in the first place.

    A couple of quick examples, and then I’ll be quiet. We have a bishop who is fond of opening his Masses with “Peace be with all of you!” To which I am always tempted to respond, “And also with all of you!” He also has an interesting way he offers the gifts at the offertory. When the bread and wine are brought forth in the offertory procession he receives them at his chair and lifts them high above his head for all to see. The only thing I can figure is that he is offering the offertory prayers at the chair rather than the altar, which I can’t quite figure out because this occurs before the adding of the drop of water to the wine. Is this even remotely valid?

    My point? When the new translation of the Novus Ordo is finally published (in 2011!), do we really expect him or any of the other bishops to fundamentally change their practices? This, my friends, is going to be the frustrating part. Until we get bishops who will actually “say the black” and “do the red” it’s going to be the same old same old.

  30. Steve says:

    Ugh. It’s not like there isn’t a need for more TLMs in DC. St. Mary Mother of God is my regular parish, and I can tell you that it’s regularly standing-room only at the 9AM TLM.

    If you want to go any other time, you have to go earlier (and farther out) at 8AM, or wait for one of the noon-or-later Masses in the Arlington Diocese.

    I didn’t expect much from our new Archbishop. I believe (though I’m not certain) he was also responsible for containing the TLM in Pittsburgh, too.

  31. Commentator says:

    Pardon if this is a repeat of anything posted above and/or on the “Philadelphia regulations” post. After all, I do work a day job and can’t keep as up to date as I’d like.

    Here’s my thought: As someone stated, priests, hopefully receive necessary training to offer the Holy Mass in seminary. However, the vast majority of seminaries have not offered adequate (requisite?) training for the Extraordinary Form. Therefore, these bishops – the Chief Priests, Prophets, and Kings of their Dioceses – want to ensure that priests have the ability to offer the Mass worthily. I know SP wanted to remove any sort of “indult” requirement; but is it possible that the bishops simply want to make up for training that ago would have been provided in the seminary. (I might be wrong, as I have never gone through seminary, but aren’t you graded and evaluated there?)

    A good example I can think of is servers for Mass. Altar boys must be trained so that they know their places, lines, etc. This is ESPECIALLY important for the older Form, where the server acts in an integral part of the Mass. I know it is only the priest who acts in persona Christi, and that the priest could say the server’s responses himself if he were alone, but the point is there: if a server should receive necessary training, and not be free to roam about the sanctuary aimlessly, shouldn’t the priest also be formed to understand the rubrics of the Mass.

    I don’t mean to defend measures which restrict the rights of both the lay and clerical faithful. However, I do suggest that, perhaps, there can be “regulations” or “norms” given by the Ordinary of a place which are lawful exercises of his diocesan authority. Thoughts?

  32. Henricus says:

    Looks like someone’s testy he didn’t get a red hat.

    You’d think some of these bishops who are working furiously behind the scenes with fellow prelates to organize “We won’t go back!” resistance would realize there are no secrets in Church politics and that word of their opposition to the pope will surely get back to Rome. Or will it?

  33. Fr Michael,

    Parish hopping is great. I did it growing up. Saved me. We should have more of it until bishops start governing.

    I don’t feel sorry for bishops; they have the grace of office. We pray for them. To feel sorry for them is really super condescending both to them and everyone else. Guess you didn’t notice, but everyone suffers in this life, and there is nothing worse than suffering liturgical abuse, asking the whole time, “Why does no one do anything, EVER?”

    People are REALLY sick and tired of the rubbish. Sick, as in vomit in the face of liturgical terrorists kind of sick. Tired, as in dead tired, with the emphasis on dead. Violent language? Ever spend on a day on Calvary? (I hope your answer is every day, at Mass).

    No one is giving priests offering the TLM a free pass. I mean, where, in all of your gentle spirit on a monday afternoon sarcasm session about bathrooms and french fries did you get that idea?

    Your zero sum game scenario of a bishop having to have everything the same everywhere in favour of moving priests whereby the prudent containment thing against the TLM is the way to go is a scenario which kicks the Holy Father in the face, don’t you think?

    Do you want to do the togetherness thing? Then just follow the law, the Holy Father’s promulgation over against that of any bishop, if the latter is disobedient.

  34. Fr. D says:

    Remember Fr. Z’s piece on Cardinal Egan’s “guidelines,” if they can be called that? The good archbishop of New York is a loyal son of holy Mother Church. Obedient to the Holy Father, he merely promulgated in his diocese what the pope wished to be promulgated. No more, no less. q.v. http://www.cny.org/archive/eg/eg071907.htm

    Maybe Wuerl (ah, providence that he wasn’t named in the recent concistory!) and Rigali should check with clear thinking canonists such as Burke and Egan before they make fools of themselves again!

  35. JML says:

    Speaking of the Pontifical Mass @ Nationals Stadium:

    http://cathstan.org/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=2&ArticleID=1542

    I am tempted to go with Red Alert! Danger Will Robinson! Emergency! Emergency! Everyone get from street!!

    I am not criticizing the choice of Music Director, but I cringe at what I am going to hear (and see)!

    “…For the papal Mass, Stehle said the music “will be familiar and will focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”

    Stehle added that there will be a few original musical arrangements unique for this Mass. “There will be some new things Ð new texts which speak of the Holy Spirit, but with tunes that people know,” he said….

    …Although the Mass will be a large, public event, Stehle said at the heart of the liturgy is the Eucharistic celebration, not unlike what Mass-goers experience every week in their own parishes.

    “The most important thing to me is that everyone present is fully engaged,” he said. “The music is aimed at allowing the assembly to take up its role and not just be spectators, but full participants in the celebration, no matter where they are sitting.”

  36. Charles: Very cool! Thanks for that.

  37. Fr. Michael says:

    Fr. Renzo,

    I won’t offer a response…but,

    You seem angry and hurt.

    My prayers are with you.

  38. Everybody:  Take a breath and calm down.

  39. Bruce T. says:

    First, please, correct me if I am incorrect.
    Is this the same Wuerl who is a “teacher” not a “legislator?”

    Do Pelosi and all the abortionists politicians in his diocese have to receive his permission before receiving holy Communion?

    Second, what does it mean for priests visiting the National Shrine? Does Wuerl have immediate jurisdiction there? Will Nazi tactics be employed there?

    [I wonder if the Motu Proprio was the Holy Father’s way to expose the crypto-conservatives to the world….]

  40. Just plain wrong….There are days where I do think if it was in God’s will that I did become a Bishop how obediece would be of top priority. Just do what it says, somehow I think people were listening to their English teachers too much in reading into the text. Just take it at face value and this wouldn’t be a problem. :)

  41. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    I am absolutely certain that the Holy Father is coming himself so that he can meet with the bishops and encourage them to “take the bit.” There are several issues on which they are being a little obstreperous.

  42. danphunter1 says:

    What do you expect from A Bishop who refused and refuses to prevent pro-death politicians from recieving our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in the state of mortal sin?
    When there is an abdication of authority in dealing with intrinsic moral evil, then refusing to accept the teaching authority of the Church and being disobedient to the Holy Father is not far behind.
    Kyrie Eleison.

  43. Jerry says:

    Sigh. . . having suffered under a travesty of a Mass just yesterday, it is very hard to take these episcopal “clarifications” with much charity. I and others have been robbed of much of our Catholic heritage and of reverence in the liturgy for our ENTIRE lives, the Holy Father has been working to restore it to us, and these bishops drag their heels in disobedience, ruling with an iron fist while “anything goes” with things not having to do with the traditional Mass. It’s as if they think our liturgical heritage is something dangerous that must be restricted and contained.

    Thank goodness our Cardinal Sean in Boston, not considered particularly friendly toward the traditional Mass, is more truly liberal about it.

  44. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Michael: You seem angry and hurt.

    There are millions of us who are hurt.

    I believe, with Fr. Renzo, that there is nothing worse than liturgical abuse. That the greatest moral crime in the Church is the serial liturgical abuse, year after year, decade after decade, of innocent faithful. Greater than the clerical sex abuse that’s gotten so much more publicity. Though both cry out to heaven for redress.

  45. EJ says:

    Like Steve above, I too did not expect much from our current archbishop – from having no qualms about the likes of Nancy Pelosi, et al. from receiving Holy Communion in this diocese – to this measure regarding Summorum Pontificum. He passes himself off to be a great “teaching bishop,” – well what a lost opportunity to “teach” your flock yet again, Your Excellency! Until when can we expect to once again have pastors of the caliber of James Cardinal Hickey and John Cardinal O’Connor, who had the courage and the charity to call a spade a spade and consistently act forcefully when they were called to do so? I am also dismayed about the Pope being so inaccessible during his upcoming visit. The excuse given, and perhaps it is valid, are the new security concerns – maybe this has been blown out of proportion though. If you’re willing to get up early enough and stand in line long enough (and can dodge the kamikaze nuns once having cleared security!)- you can come within 5 feet of the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica or St. Peter’s Square for public masses or audiences. It’s a pity the Masses wont be held either at the National Mall or Central Park in New York like they were with John Paul II…I know well how diocesan and parish-level red tape works…and tickets will inevitably go to big time donors, the privileged members of parish “committees” or others who have with their feet in the right doors.

  46. If the intention of the guidelines is solely to ensure worthy and proper offerings of the Holy Sacrifice this is commendable. However, adding guidelines to the pope’s norms seems an insult from my perspective.

    I also wonder if the Coordinator will be checking only Washington priests. Perhaps visiting priests will have to be examined??? From some priest friends I have learned that priests usually do not have to go through a ability-to-say-Mass-approval inspection when they are traveling. Maybe that is changing for Washington.
    Well, if this happens for the extraordinary form, they better make sure they do it for ordinary form!

    PS Something just came to mind related to things extraordinary. I was in a Washington archdiocesan parish for Sunday Mass not long ago when I observed a layperson on the Communion line go up to the priest with a pyx. The priest gave them Hosts in the pyx right after giving them holy Communion. When I asked the pastor about it after Mass he became very defensive. This doesn’t seem to be a correct practice to me. I wonder if Washington has guidelines about this.

  47. Fr. Michael says:

    A few things…

    1. Fr. Z., thanks for the caution to breathe and calm down. All my posts today have been written calmly and with a sincere desire to have good conversation.

    2. My original post today had many points (some good, some weak) but my main observation was that we are witnessing what happens when two goods, two truths come together, A) bishops’ responsibility and B) Summorum Pontificum giving power to Pastors. This is an academic point that needs thought and clarification. Any diocesan statement seems to stem from this phenomenon of how to implement SP so as to ensure sound liturgical practices.

    3. I have a great distaste for liturgical abuse as well. Always have always will.

    4. Maybe in time, but I’m not ready to equate child abuse with liturgical abuse. But employing the word “abuse” of any kind can be a cause for harsh blog responses which I believe Fr. Z., wishes us to avoid.

    5. I mean it., peace and Christian blessings on this beautiful Feast Day of the Angelic Doctor.

  48. Fr Michael,

    You did respond… Twice. As far as I understand it, this blog is about the Sacred Liturgy. The Son of God was abused horrifically. Liturgical abuse, disrespecting our Lord’s obedience, gives people “permission” to commit any sin, including child abuse. That should be evident. If one treats the Last Supper and Calvary as a way to enforce the tyrrany of one’s relativism, anything can happen, and does. I hate to keep bringing up my Trilogy, but I’ll have many chapters on just that point, including child abuse, as the Book 1 continues. You’re welcome to follow along. Just click on my name.

    Anyway, if your prayers for me are restricted to healing anger and hurt, forget about it. Just anger, called zeal (good irony in action), is a necessary virtue. Elijah, after decapitating hundreds of false (liturgical) prophets, said to the Lord: “Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum.” Wonderful.

    Also, being subjected to liturgical abuse does not necessarily hurt anyone, that is, if one is cooperating with the grace the good Lord does give; that would-be hurt is put to work for the development of virtue. Nicey nice condescension, everywhere evident with liturgical abuse, aids in the strengthening of virtue, albeit in via negativa.

    The best, of course, is that which is positive, which is always to be found in SAYING THE BLACK AND DOING THE RED. There is no conflict between Summorum Pontificum and the bishops’ moderation of the Liturgy. The only conflict is when they reject the pastoral reach of the Supreme Pontiff.

  49. Deborah says:

    Why on earth would dioceses start setting guidelines before the clarifications are released?

    Is it possible that diocesan offices are in a hurry to push out restrictive guidelines for the TLM *before* the clarifications are released from Ecclesia Dei?

    Perhaps they realize these clarifications will make it more difficult for them to weasel through the cracks in order to keep their control.

    And then after the PCED clarifications are released the diocesan regime will need about a year to review the new guidelines and in the meantime the current restrictive guidelines will remain in place.

    They use this strategy ALL the time! And the good people sit back and say surely the bishop means well, let’s wait and see what happens.

  50. Eric says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Yesterday was the culmination of the Archbishop’s Appeal here in Washington. I attend the 9 am TLM at St. Mary’s, which I will attest, is frequently standing room only. Archbishop Wuerl made every pastor play a CD during the homily. Apparently, the Archbishop doesn’t have an Ordo for the TLM because he kept referencing “in today’s gospel…” which was not today’s gospel for us. It made the already insincere gesture seem more so.

  51. Matthew says:

    Fr. Z:
    The attempt to micro-manage the implementation of SP is cause for reflection. I am not entirely sure that it is attributable to ill will or demonic intervention although either or both of these may play a factor. I think that this is another consequence of the hermeneutic of discontinuity.
    If everything began ‘ex nihilo’ in 1964 after the close of the Council than there is a clear need to micro-manage every detail. If on the other hand the Spirit has always guided us it is enough to do what we have always done. This, too, accounts for the proliferation of committees and documents in the last forty years.
    I do not mean this to sound flaky but there seems to be a real fear of letting the Spirit move. In the face of this fear there is a strong need for control because something might go ‘wrong’.
    To become disconnected from Tradition is to believe that it all depends on me and thus to fall into a panic attack of controlling activity.
    I hope this makes sense.
    PAX,
    Matthew

  52. Matthew… absolutely brilliant comment! Of course, some bishops affirm continuity by just saying that they are not issuing guidelines since the MP is clear, and that they agree with it.

  53. Matt Callihan says:

    In the letter to bishops accompanying the motu we read “The present Norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.”

    Those perpetuating this travesty in D.C. are either 1) illiterate and can’t read a directive, or they are 2) separating themselves from the pope by the dissidence. My money is on the second.

    The last time I read Canon 751 it said “Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” Therefore schism can occur in one of two ways. It sure appears to me that D.C. fits the first one.

  54. Father M says:

    Human behavior, even episcopal human behavior, is always complex. But ALL of us, including bishops who are more than a little allergic to traditionalists, would do well to recall the words of Gamaliel retained in the Sacred Scriptures (Acts 5): “If (this Work) comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” It is painful now, and many people have been and continue to be hurt. And yet God’s Work will not be stopped. That doesn’t absolve us of the need to do the Work, since our activity is part of God’s equation. Nor does it absolve us of the necessity of redemptive suffering. But it is a consolation.

  55. Father Z,
    If you want to copy from pdf files I recommend ghostscript. It can read the pdf format but fails to acknowledge all those pesky locks that prevent you from legally copying text for fair use purposes.
    Available fro free from
    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/AFPL/index.htm

  56. Father Z,
    If you want to copy from pdf files I recommend ghostscript. It can read the pdf format but fails to acknowledge all those pesky locks that prevent you from legally copying text for fair use purposes.
    Available for free from
    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/AFPL/index.htm

  57. Scott RP says:

    Fr. Michael:
    The days when parishioners “pour their blood into the bricks” is long gone, and deservedly so. Our ancestors poured their blood into the bricks of their churches. Their altars were ripped out, smashed and discarded in the dumpsters. The side altars were removed. Statues honroing beloved saints were sold off or trashed. The tabernacles that these peasants generously gave their pennies to pay for were discarded. The altar rails were torn out and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren utterly lost any sense of their sensus Catholicus.

    No Father, no more pouring blood into those bricks. We have been betrayed. As this generation dies off, the foundations for a new Church are finally being laid. It will be built firmly on Christ this time by wiser, more vigilant architects. Archbishop Weurl is not part of the construction effort.

  58. Jim R of ADW says:

    Like the other ADW commenters, I am angry, hurt and generally bummed by this bad news. I had suspected that this is what we would get from Bishop Wuerl. I think this is only part of his plan to stop the TLM. He only addresses Summorum Pontificum to his priests. The lay faithful are completely in the dark. I would be surprised if 5% of the faithful have ever heard of the Motu Proprio. I’ve only heard it mentioned by the priest at the TLM congregation in Silver Spring, not in any Novus Ordo parrishes I,ve been to. It has not even been mentioned in the diocesean newspaper. Well, it was mentioned in the opening paragraph in a box on the front page, but oddly the article was not continued anywhere in the newspaper.

    By the way, has anybody heard of a planned Solemn High TLM to be offered at St. Bernadette’s in Silver Spring on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes? Based on the Bishop’s letter, can this mass be now offered?

    Jim R

  59. magdalen says:

    I think I am just a little surprised that anyone is surprised at the actions
    of this Archbishop. Myself, I am glad the red hat went south. The VERY public
    giving of Holy Communion to well known pro-abortion politicians is only one
    sign of what is going on here.

    I was in a certain parish for 25 years. Yes, we gave much to it. We loved it.
    We invested ourselves in it. And then the new pastor came along. He will not
    even offer morning Mass for the people; he goes to the gym instead. He got
    rid of all activities in the parish except from two puppet committees that
    do not meet. He built himself a big new rectory and drives a 40G new vehicle
    and is gone much of the time doing who knows what—but it takes precedence over
    the care of souls. My family left that parish. Our new one is not much better
    but the only other choice. A protestant is coming to give the parish ‘mission’.

    I did actually write a polite request for the TLM. I knew for sure it would
    be turned down but I did not want my pastor to say that no one had asked for
    it.

    It ia a rare Mass in this locale with no liturgical abuse; it is a fact
    of life.

    But time marches on. My bishop turns 75 this year. I pray for a good holy and
    faithful next bishop. A man who loves God and souls for the love of God. Someone
    who loves Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady. And who would be
    obedient to the Holy Father’s requests concerning the TLM. And I pray for the
    same to be found in my parish priests. Is that asking too much?

    I may have to move to another town…

  60. JML says:

    Jim R of ADW and fellow parishoner!

    Do you have any more details of the TLM @ St. Bernadette’s

  61. JML and Jim R and anyone else in the DC area,

    I’ve got the skinny on the TLM at St. Bernadette HERE.

    WAC

  62. Emilio says:

    This would seem to deliver a crushing blow to anyone who has speculated or hoped about more regular celebrations of the TLM at the National Shrine, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Washington – especially regarding pilgrimage groups led by “visiting” priests from the DC archdiocese and beyond. As a native of this archdiocese, I am profoundly dismayed and hurt by this news. I see it as an act of defiance and injustice – where Summorum Pontificum was an act of justice which called all to obedience. I am tempted to say alot more, but I will not out of respect, although this respect towards my legitimate preferences and those of so many others is not reciprocated either from our archbishop or our chancery (some “Pastoral Center”). Please join me in praying for the archbishop and for a speedy clarification from Ecclesia Dei.

  63. JPM says:

    What up, Fr. Z. Question? What’s up with hating on PDF files? I don’t mind them, in fact, they’re quite handy-dandy. The only real problem with a PDF is if you don’t know how to create one, and want to make a single file out of several separate files, such as a few DOCs and some JPEGs. Otherwise, there’s no reason to have a problem with PDFs, as they are quite user friendly. Besides, Adobe has the PDF reader available online for free, so there’s no excuse to regard them as an inconvenience. If you’re able to use a computer, you shouldn’t find PDFs too terrible. But that’s my tow cents. Maybe you’re a Windows fella.

    Nice blog, Fr. Z. Very informative and balanced.

    JPM

  64. Jbrown says:

    Here is a canonical question: is Summorum Pontificum the supreme law in this archdiocese and, if so, how can a priest follow its provisions faithfully without violating the Archbishop’s new rules? Or is that the idea, that the Archbishop believes that the motu proprio is only a guideline, and not the legal precept that it purports to be? I suppose the explicit reason for the motu proprio’s publication, namely to no longer leave the decision in the hands of the bishop, has been formally disregarded by this archdiocese. Hence, does that make the archdiocesan legislation illegal in light of superior law and, effectively, an attempted exercise at usurping supreme legislative power?

  65. Jim says:

    Okay, now these bishops are going to send “secret shoppers” to all parish Masses in their dioceses, right? And any priest who allows more than three liturgical abuses of any kind at a single Mass of Paul VI will be barred from celebrating until he tightens up his liturgical shot group. So to speak. It is only fair, right? They want to place restrictions on the extraordinary form, while the ordinary form continues day to day as the priest’s “performance art” masterpiece.

    “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Amen

    “Good morning everyone.”

    Strike one, Father. That ain’t in the Missal…

  66. Matt Callihan says:

    Jbrown wrote: “I suppose the explicit reason for the motu proprio’s publication, namely to no longer leave the decision in the hands of the bishop, has been formally disregarded by this archdiocese. Hence, does that make the archdiocesan legislation illegal in light of superior law and, effectively, an attempted exercise at usurping supreme legislative power?”

    Yes. It is an objective fact that Wuerl has done as you describe. I fail to see how this can be interpreted in any other way than schism.

  67. DebSTS says:

    This is not surprising . . . If the Holy Father simply said, “Jesus is Lord,” some bishop would find a need to call a committee to try to “figure out” what the Holy Father “actually meant.”

  68. Patronus says:

    I think Fr. Michael’s commentary was sensible. I also think some people need to cool off. The Washington Archbishop is not “in schism” or any of these other radical claims. There are certainly places that are overly restrictive on SP, but balancing freedom of both Missals with legit overarching pastoral governance is not necessarily simple.

    Also, as for this comment: “I believe, with Fr. Renzo, that there is nothing worse than liturgical abuse. That the greatest moral crime in the Church is the serial liturgical abuse, year after year, decade after decade, of innocent faithful. Greater than the clerical sex abuse that’s gotten so much more publicity.”

    I would not agree. Certainly, an argument could and has been made that there are connections between the liturgical abuse mentality and numerous other abuses (including, perhaps, the scandals). One might argue that many of these problems have flown from the liturgical abuse. However, in terms of particular acts, it is clear that the abuse of a child is far more heinous–doing permanent damage and possibly wrecking a life. Remember the old adage: “Sacramenta sunt propter homines” (Sacraments are for people). This does not mean they are to be used or desecrated with no little consequence. But the violation of a human person is graver still, especially since the sacraments are FOR people–not vice versa.

  69. Marysann says:

    I invite Catholics from the Archdiocese of Washington who like to worship at the TLM to come on over to one of the parishes in the Diocese of Arlington where the Mass is offered and bring their contributions with them. If lay people vote with their feet and their wallets, changes will be made.

  70. dcs says:

    Here are the words of Our Savior Himself:

    “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater.” (Luke 16:10)

    Patronus writes:
    There are certainly places that are overly restrictive on SP, but balancing freedom of both Missals with legit overarching pastoral governance is not necessarily simple.

    Yes, that is precisely why the Pope is taking the decision away from the bishops. They should follow his “pastoral governance” and not try to subvert it.

  71. Emilio says:

    “The present Norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.”

    “Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, IN FULL HARMONY, HOWEVER [my emphasis], with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.” – Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the World to Present the “Motu Proprio”

    Not clear enough for them? Well in the meantime, it looks like we will just have to cross the bridge to Arlington as stowaways, if not to a TLM, then at least to a decent Novus Ordo.

  72. Matt Callihan says:

    Sombody on another list said it so well: ‘So, how many different ways can a modernist parse “no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary”?’

  73. Derik Castillo says:

    I will restate what I wrote in a related entry.

    If only priests wishing to celebrate according to the EF will
    be “certified”, then we may be missing the opportunity of
    straightening priests who turn a blind eye on liturgical abuses.
    It seems likely that priests who celebrate a dignified OF
    are those eager to recover the Tridentine treasures.

    Disclaimer. straightening the priests means to point out the
    consequences of liturgical abuses.

  74. Joe says:

    Archbishop Wuerl had many, many friends and admirers in Pittsburgh. However, he did not seem very interested in the Latin Mass Community here. Wuerl spent a lot of time in the Vatican and certainly has some allies there, but a liturgist he is not.

    Is anyone surprised by Pelosi? John FARC Kerry – I call him FARC because he issued an excuse for the Marxist gurrella rebels in Colombia – received Holy Communion here. Wuerl said he will not use Communion as a “threat” to anyone.

    Wuerl gave permission to have exactly one TLM celebrated at St. Paul Cathedral. Just one.

    The diocese of Pittsburgh has issued nothing more about Summorum Pontificum since Bishop Zubik took over.

    I think Wuerl gets a red hat in a couple of years, regardless. Having said that, it’s clear that a majority of the American bishops don’t want the TLM celebrated and will do what they can to obstruct it.

  75. Antiquarian says:

    Marysann,

    For what it’s worth, the Archdiocese of Washington has a number of TLMs offered every week, most of them first offered under Cardinal McCarrick. While St Mary’s often overflows, the others do not (and the attendance at the Latin Novus Ordo at St Matthew’s dwarfs all the Tridentine Masses combined). This is not to defend Archbishop Wuerl’s “guidelines” but to point out that in an average week there are several TLMs available already.

  76. It is perfectly correct that priests intending to celebrate in the extraordinary form should pass an exam in Latin and rubrics. All priests have to pass exams in rubrics before ordination. It would be highly irresponsible to entrust the celebration of the sacraments to people who are not fully versed in the proper forms.

  77. Fr. Martin Farrell,op says:

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t get worried about these silly letters from the various chanceries about regulations which are clearly aimed at dampening enthusiasm for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, or intimidating those who would like to consider it by overwhelming them with red-tape. It seems to me that any reading of the Motu Proprio clearly indicates that the BROADEST POSSIBLE latitude is given to priests to celebrate it. These broadsides from Chancery Offices, Liturgy Committees and their Ordinaries remind me of nothing so much as the groans of a dying T.Rex, upset not only that he’s finally come to terms with his own mortality, but that he’s dying and NOBODY CARES. It’s a whole new age out there, Bishop! We can’t hear you back there in the 70s anymore. Buy a calendar!

  78. Wasnn’t it just a touch . . . well, uncharitable of the Church to deprive especially elderly people of the Tridentine Mass, right after VC II?

    My uncle used to complain bitterly and incessantly about the NO. He could not pray during the new mass, he said, so he arrived in church an hour before mass to pray properly. At his funeral eulogy, the celebrant commented on what a splendid Catholic my uncle was, venturing forth even in the most inclement weather to attend Wednesday evening devotions. He was so attached to Mass, said the eulogist, he would come an hour early to “prepare himself.” O tempora.

  79. Jim R of ADW says:


    Comment by Antiquarian:
    For what it’s worth, the Archdiocese of Washington has a number of TLMs offered every week, most of them first offered under Cardinal McCarrick. While St Mary’s often overflows, the others do not (and the attendance at the Latin Novus Ordo at St Matthew’s dwarfs all the Tridentine Masses combined). This is not to defend Archbishop Wuerl’s “guidelines” but to point out that in an average week there are several TLMs available already.

    The facts are there are three places where the TLM is offered in this diocese:
    1. A 9 am mass St. Mary’s downtown which does overflow.
    2. An 8 am mass at the Latin Mass Community in Silver Spring which despite the hour is well attended. I assist at this mass once or twice a month.
    3. An 11 am mass at St. Francis de Sales in Benedict. This is a very small parish and a great distance from any population center. I travel there 1 hour each first Sunday for their wonderful Missa Cantata.
    Your comment implies that the TLM is readily available in this diocese and that there is little interest anyway. The facts are as I have stated them. If the Motu Proprio was not such a secret in this diocese I’m sure the interest would be great.

  80. Fr. D says:

    Spirit of Vatican II says:
    “It is perfectly correct that priests intending to celebrate in the extraordinary form should pass an exam in Latin and rubrics.”

    I agree that priests should be held accountable to the rubrics. But, if bishops are so concerned, they should immediately provide courses in their seminaries for future priests and men who are priests now! [Priests are forced to go to other mandatory meetings since the last few years. Why not mandate meetings to explain the rubrics of the Mass?]

    More guidelines are unnecessary and just create a disdain for law. How many enforce canons regarding the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion or abortionist politicians. The pope gave the guidelines and Rome will soon produce more. The case is closed.

    Meanwhile, most priests who want to offer according to the extraordinary form have not done so yet precisely because they are waiting to learn how! The priests who appreciate the traditional Mass have great respect for the rubrics and are afraid to offer it until they can do so properly. Once they learn it and are more comfortable, you will see an explosion of traditional Masses.

    I emphatically disagree with you when you say:

    “All priests have to pass exams in rubrics before ordination.”

    You information is wrong.

    There are seminaries which just have a periodic rubric non-credited “class” before ordination in which it is basically said, “This is how you do it.” 2 or 3 guys may get a chance to practice parts of the Mass in that setting with everyone else watching. At the end of the “course” you might have to video tape yourself in a dry mass. A professor will watch it and write a few comments. There is no exam. No one fails.

    I think part of the problem is that the Novus Ordo leaves so much ambiguous that professor priests give a lot of lee way in liturgical creativity. [If you’ve ever attended a Novus Ordo Mass you will see this is obvious.] So, how can you give an exam?

    So, if there is an exam for the extraordinary form, there better be one for the ordinary!

  81. xathar says:

    Spirit of Vatican II,

    No one here would want to see the extraordinary form celebrated poorly. However, there is a more pastoral way to handle this than requiring the passing of an exam, which automatically pits bishop against priest. What should be done is what is happening in Phili: the bishop provides a training course for priests who want to learn the older form which they should attend if they want to offer the TM. To require the passing of a test is very confrontational in tone, whereas offering further eduction to priests who sincerely want to learn speaks more of a bishop who is truly a father within his archdiocese.

    PS I would think that someone with a name like “Spirit of Vatican II” would be more sensitive to this more pastoral way of doing things.

  82. Henry Edwards says:

    I would think that someone with a name like “Spirit of Vatican II” would be more sensitive to this more pastoral way of doing things.

    Not funny! In my lifetime, I’ve seen nothing done less pastoral or sensitive that those things done in the name of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. For instance, the jack-hammering of altars, smashing of statues, tearing out of altar rails, and the like could all have been done with pastoral sensitivity for the faithful Catholics watching with tears streaming down their faces, rather than with cheers and jeers and looks of exultant joy.

    In regard to SofVII’s more humorous claim that “All priests have to pass exams in rubrics before ordination”, I believe I recently mentioned the priest who remarked that his only liturgy course in seminary was taught by an ex-nun using as textbook a thin paperback written by a Methodist laywoman. I got the impression the emphasis on rubrics was not intense.

  83. xathar and Fr. D… Excellent comments. Really good. I like that.

  84. Antiquarian says:

    Jim R of ADW–

    You read far, far more into my post than what was stated. Marysann implied, to my reading, a belief that Washington has no EF masses. I responded that there are, in fact, “several” (the three weekly ones in diocesan parishes you mention as well as several others offered less regularly). The fact that the cathedral’s OF Latin mass draws more than all the TLMs put together has many possible explanations, and my citing that fact does not in any way imply that there’s “little interest” in the Tridentine rite or that the motu proprio isn’t needed. Calm down and read what you reply to. (And ask around at St Mary’s about those others beyond the three you mentioned, you should check them out.)

  85. Mike says:

    Steve is right — no more blood pouring into brinks.

    This is why the so-called “reform of the reformers” are dying off as quickly as the NO Mass. Because you can’t reform the biggest liturgical abuse of them all — the Novus Ordo.

    I know Wuerl and many of of closest men. They’re not traditional. They’re barely Catholic practicing a Faith that is closer to Protestant.

    We need to clean house and, God willing, I believe our Holy Father is the man to do it. It may not be overnight but I truly believe it’s happening.

  86. Kathleen says:

    Re: TLM Masses in DC

    According to this week’s edition of The Hoya, Georgetown has just established a bi-weekly Tridentine Mass, too.

    http://www.thehoya.com/node/15132

    I haven’t attended yet, but I intend to.

  87. Anonymous says:

    I think the key to the response of the laity to the SP is in the hands of the Bishops.
    In areas where the local bishop embraces the SP with zeal, the EF will thrive. Even if the numbers are small to start. They will grow in time because of his endorsement. In areas where the local bishops either ignore or treat with ambiguity the SP. The numbers will stay the same for the EF at those parishes that historically have had the indult. Even if there is a possibility of great interest by the priests / laity. They will either never hear about the SP or be afraid to request the EF out of fear of being viewed as not being with the mainstream church. I live in the ADW, and in the particular region that I reside, there has been very little to nothing said regarding the SP or the EF by the local print media, secular or diocesan or by the clergy. I am very grateful to live approximately 20 or so miles from a parish that has had the EF since early in the indult days. The road to restoring the TLM to a more common place in Catholic life will be a long one, ultimately
    worth the determination and struggle that it will take to achieve.

  88. Please don’t leave “Anonymous” comments.

    I am tempted to delete them.

    Some name or handle is necessary around here.

    Thanks!

  89. JML says:

    quoth the Daily Hoya:
    “…In addition to the Masses said on campus, at least seven parishes in the D.C. area recently added Tridentine Masses, including St. Mary, Mother of God in Northwest D.C….”

    Where? Are they counting the existing ones?

  90. ArlingtonDio says:

    JML: “Where? Are they counting the existing ones?”

    The Hoya noted seven parishes in the “D.C. area,” which would include the Arlington Diocese in Northern Virginia. I could see how they got to seven that way.

  91. RBrown says:

    It is perfectly correct that priests intending to celebrate in the extraordinary form should pass an exam in Latin and rubrics. All priests have to pass exams in rubrics before ordination. It would be highly irresponsible to entrust the celebration of the sacraments to people who are not fully versed in the proper forms.
    Comment by Spirit of Vatican II

    Among the topics covered in the exam are: Importing Pub Conversational Styles into the Liturgy, the Liturgical Grin, Proper Hugging Techniques, Integrating Liberal Causes into the Intercessory Prayers, and Turning the Sacrifice of the Mass into a Picnic.

  92. FatherWannaBe says:

    Wow! You know, the responses on this issue are just multiple examples of the audacity of some people to question something they personally don’t agree with. Why don’t you pull your noses out of your birettas and call Archbishop W. yourself and ask him? Whats that you said? You would never do that? Yeah, it seems easier and less confrontational to just type some bitter words on a blog and run back to your little corner, but you’re not doing the Church any good by being defiant and hateful. You just go on with your Latin masses and leave those who are comfortable with the Post-VCII mass (yes, the ultra-majority, thank you!) to follow the courageous bishops like Abp W. and Cardinal Rigali.

    May God have mercy on your soul for dividing his Church for your personal gains!

  93. I stand corrected about rubrics exams.
    Do the bishops mean their talk of an exam confrontationally?
    The rubrics of the Tridentine Mass are actually quite difficult — it used to be said that they offer the priest the possibility of committing a hundred mortal sins during the course
    of the Mass. I must admit I was not aware of the fact that the consecrated host is blessed by the priest with multiple signs of the cross, or of the demand that the priest keep his fingers joined after the consecration. All of this is redolent of a long-dead eucharistic theology.

  94. Hey “FatherWannaBe”…

    I don’t know about the others, but I talk with bishops and archbishops frequently enough, in person.

    BTW, what do you mean by “FatherWannaBe”?… that you’re married and can’t conceive a child? We’ll pray for this intention. Or is it that you want to clericalise the laity, impossibly taking God’s place in calling yourself to a vocation to the priesthood? If that’s the case, that would explain a few things.

    ============

    To what’s it’s name, who wrote: “long-dead eucharistic theology”… Um… long-dead to whom?

  95. TLM_advocate says:

    For those who feel the TLM is not there preference that is fine. Novus Ordo is a valid mass offered in every regular Roman Catholic Church in the world. Some people prefer the TLM it also is a valid mass, although offered with less regularity. Currently the majority of Catholics attend the Novus Ordo, and have never attended a TLM. Who knows how many Catholics would attend TLMs if they had exposure or access to it. Until I attended my first TLM out of curiosity, I thought how strange it must have been before VCII. I was quite surprised, it was beautiful and the list goes on and on. I was lucky, a kind person handed me a hand missal and showed me briefly where the prayers were. As I read the 1962 Missal and as Mass went on, I found that I preferred this Rite. I don’t think the Pope wants to divide the Church; rather he wants to enrich people’s lives by making the TLM more accessible. Pope Benedict has been quoted many times in his support of the TLM. The Church already has its divisions; ecumenism is the buzzword of today. Let us heal our wounds internally before we look at unity with others: Anglicans, the Orthodox Churches, etc.

  96. Abe Tolemahcs says:

    “The Hoya noted seven parishes in the “D.C. area,” which would include the Arlington Diocese in Northern Virginia. I could see how they got to seven that way.” For anyone wanting a reliable schedule and update of mass times and other events related to the EFL in the Diocese of Arlington I highly recommend this: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/tlmarlington
    This site is updated by laity and priests and is very reliable.

    While I’m not disputing the number of parishes in the DC area to include the Diocese of Arlington that are celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy (EFL)I want to make an important point here. The parishes in the Arlington Diocese which celebrate the EFL are all clustered in Northern Va. The exception is the one mass offered at St John The Baptist in Front Royal which began under the “indult” granted by Bishop Loverde prior to Summorum Pontificum. It can become slightly misleading to think that all is well within the Diocese
    of Arlington regarding the celebration of the EFL when in fact it is not. The Diocese of Arlington extends all the way south to the Northern Neck of Virginia and there is not a single parish currently celebrating the EFL South of the Occoquan. This is in spite of the fact that there are a substantial number of Catholics who have requested it. There is priest who belongs to the Diocese of Arlington who is fully capable of and eager to resume celebrating this mass, who is not juridically impeded but who has been specifically prohibited by his pastor from publicly celebrating this mass except on his day off all of which Bishop Loverde is fully cognizant of. This is just one example of the issues we face here. I am fully involved in this issue here and this is not hearsay.
    Those of us who live down here must travel to Old St Mary’s in Wash DC, to one of the other parishes in Northern Va or to St. Josephs in the Diocese of Richmond all of which are a significant burden in both time and money for us.
    Letters and personal meetings with 4 separate pastors specifically to discuss getting the EFL down here left us empty handed which leaves us no choice but to proceed directly to Art. 7 of Summorum Pontificum which we do not expect to be favorable either based on what Archbishop Wuerl is doing. With that in mind we are considering other options presented to us.

    My point here is that considering the proximity of the Archdiocese of Washington to the Diocese of Arlington I fully expect that the same tactics used by Archbishop Wuerl will be used by Bishop Loverde to further delay the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. It is very sad and frustrating to see the amount of effort dedicated to not faithfully implementing Summorum Pontificum by the majority of bishops.
    The bishops as well as the pastors who are parroting their bishops definitely are talking out both sides of their mouth on this. They claim to support the spiritual needs of their parishoners and then when presented with workable solutions they implement new stall tactics and devise new reasons for why “…it simply won’t work at this time.”
    They are genuinely afraid of what the open celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy will require of them. TNCath said it best, “it is an uncomfortable document that basically calls to the bishops’ attention that liturgical practice the last 40 years has suffered and that it’s time to do something about it.”

  97. Bruce T. says:

    Thank you, Spirit of Vatican II, for noting that you stand corrected!
    Would that you would learn from your mistakes to be humble and get your facts correct. But, alas in you admission of mistakenness you proceed to other grave errors.
    It is quite appropriate that you’ve named yourself as you have for much ignorance and error has been foisted upon the Church in the name of the Spirit of Vatican II by those who do not know their facts.
    The rubrics of the “extraordinary form” or the Missal of Bl. John XXIII are not difficult. There are, however, more of them than in the Missal of Paul VI.
    How easily you accept caricatures. Remember, mortal sin requires 3 conditions. [It might be good to reread the catechism every so often.] However, to callously disregard the rubrics of the Mass would certainly be grave matter.
    The priest does not “bless” the consecrated Host although he makes the sign of the Cross. (See one of Fr. Z’s previous posts and its comments.)
    If you’d have actually paid attention to what the pope’s, magisterium, and Catechsim reaffirm about the holy Eucharist, you will see that the Church’s Eucharistic theology remains the same. It can never be dead, unless you have declared yourself the arbiter of doctrine and have had a special revelation form certain nefarious spirits!

    Finally, remember Christ came to save the whole person, body and spirit. In your gonstic fascination, you use the name “spirit of Vatican II.” But, if you wish to be reckoned a Catholic, please, don’t ignore the letter, that is, “the body of Vatican II.”

  98. Fr. Joe says:

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Abp. Wuerl floated the idea a few years ago of a committee of bishops, whose duty it would be to REVIEW any cases of bishops who might be considering OBEYING Canon 915. The committee was to evaluate how much political heat might be generated by obedience to Canon Law, and rein any such bishop in.

    The Canon itself, of course, doesn’t mention that obedience to Canon Law is a questionable activity that needs review–and quashing.

    (For those who don’t have the Code at your fingertips, Canon 915 is the one that says that obstinate, manifest grave sinners are not to be given Communion.)

    My personal hope is that during his visit in April, the Holy Father will make statements on the matter of the Extraordinary Form and on the reception of Communion by pro-abortion-holocaust “Catholics,” that will leave these bishops who have been nullifying the Church’s liturgy, law, and moral teaching shivering in the freezing wind.

    Since they have demonstrated that their concept of obedience is “Make me!”–I hope and pray that he will.

  99. Fr. Joe says:

    This blatantly abusive “implementation” of S.P. doesn’t surprise me a bit. Defiance of the Holy Father on this matter goes hand-in-hand with Abp. Wuerl’s continued defiance of Canon Law on the matter of giving Communion to obstinate, manifest public sinners–i.e., pro-abortion-holocaust Catholics.

    A few years ago, in a 3,000-word article, Abp. Wuerl proposed setting up a committee of bishops whose function would be to review all cases in which an individual bishop was considering obeying Canon 915. All bishops would be required to submit such an action to review by this committee, who would evaluate it, based on how much political heat there might be. If the committee decided that it was sufficiently scared, the bishop would be told to disregard Canon Law, and continue to allow the ostentatious reception of sacrilegious Communions by pro-abortion politicians.

    I think Abp. Wuerl used slightly different language for his plan, but I’ve accurately summarized it.

    Abp. Wuerl is one of many American bishops who have amply demonstrated that their notion of obedience to the Holy Father is summed up in the words, “Make me!”

  100. andrew says:

    Keep in mind that the TLM is celebrated in DC. St Mary Mother of God parish is pretty much the TLM parish for DC, and is featured in news reports about the TLM on occasion.

    Furthermore, the National Shrine in DC recently allowed for one of the shrines to become the official “tirdentine altar” at the shrine, which was a welcome gesture.

  101. andrew says:

    Keep in mind that the TLM is celebrated in DC. St Mary Mother of God parish is pretty much the TLM parish for DC, and is featured in news reports about the TLM on occasion.

    Furthermore, the National Shrine in DC recently allowed for one of the side altars in the crypt church to become the official \”tirdentine altar\” at the shrine, which was a welcome gesture.

  102. Deepus Throatus says:

    I normally do not participate in or read blogs. I don’t have time. I have a life. However, someone alerted me to this posting and I thought you all might like a perspective from a bona fide insider.
    Almost to the very second that S.P. was released, the Archdiocese of Washington was planning a “conference” to figure out how to “implement” it. As I told a priest-friend of mine, “What the heck is there to implement?” We both laughed.
    The unwritten policy of the Archdiocese of Washington is to destroy Trid in every way, shape and form. Yes, its Masses have been in the news on PBS and in U.S. News and World Report, but as Paul Harvey says, “Now you’re going to hear the rest of the story.” The reporter who did the PBS story had been dying to do a story about Trid for a long time, but the Archdiocese refused to let him in any Trid church. It wasn’t until S.P. was announced that the dam broke and it was no longer possible to hold back the flood. The Archdiocese was hoping for wimpy pictures for U.S. News but the photographer assigned to the story did background research combined with gut instinct that comes with experience that he was able to capture the Consecration cover shot when it presented itself.
    Anyone who thinks that they can deal with this issue at the local level is an idiot. (And this applies not just to Washington.) You have to go straight to Rome, and Rome will back you up. A different priest-friend of mine (not the one from the story above) told me about a U.S. bishop who reportedly said in response to S.P.: “Not in my diocese!” The Vatican found out about his comment and told him, “Oh yes in your diocese!” With his tail between his legs he responded back to Rome, “Oh yes in my diocese, and I can assure you that I will be the very first priest to celebrate the Mass.” (Perhaps another reader knows more about that story than I do. This story, not having taken place in Washington, is outside my direct, first-hand knowledge.)
    The typical knee-jerk liberal reaction to situations like Washington is to substitute cash contributions with complaint letters. I can tell you for a fact that you are doing nothing but wasting paper and ink. Nobody other than a first-level screener will ever see it. Right now, the Archdiocese is conducting its annual appeal. If someone got the lame idea of complaining about the Mass or Ted Kennedy’s Communion or whatever, nobody in the Chancery would ever know about it. All pledges are taken in their sealed envelopes and placed in a plastic bank night deposit bag and submitted to Chevy Chase Bank. A data entry clerk then types in the information. So if a complaint gets submitted instead of a pledge, it’s going to elicit a response like, “Excuse me Mr. Manager… I do not know what this means ‘GFY’… We do not have that in my country… Is person paying by check or credit card?” [Trash can] Likewise, several years ago the Archdiocese did something called “Forward in Faith.” Information from pledge cards was entered into laptop computers by four fundraising coordinators. Complaints were summarily discarded, never to be seen again (except by sneeks like me who just happen to be watching which wastebasket they were using).
    Somewhere in this topic, someone was concerned about the Archdiocese demanding credentials from any priest who might say a Mass within its territory. This is one area where the Archdiocese is 100% correct. Washington, probably because of its resources and its capital standing, attracts people from all over. In the past, the Archdiocese has been plagued by men claiming to be priests but in reality having no standing with anything. This has been a problem with both Trid and Novus Ordo. There is a male who wears clerical clothing who hangs out in a restaurant across the street from a DC Trid church who tells people that he is a priest. However, talking to this guy is like Howard Stern playing “Stump The Stripper.” The guy has problems answering certain questions like: “Who ordained you? When where you ordained? What seminary did you attend? Who can verify even one of your alleged assignments?” His situation is so serious that there are orders to have him arrested if he ever sets foot on any Archdiocese property while wearing clerical clothing. Several years ago some Hungarians from New York wanted to establish a Washington apostlate. They were told to provide information about their priest. Poof! Disappeared… never to be heard from again. There has been a big problem in the past with visiting priests/students from Asian countries staying in the United States instead of returning to their countries. They try to “help out” at churches and collect stipend money as a way of supporting themselves. Any priest on Educational Assignment from another diocese living in DC must provide a letter of good standing before he can formally help out in local parishes. So the rule, although might be seen as a way of controlling Trid, is actually in place to protect Catholics as a whole.
    Bottom Line: Write your letters to PCED, not to your local Ordinary.