My emphases and comments.
All seminaries must teach the old Latin Mass, says Vatican
February 22, 2008
Seminaries throughout the Catholic world will have to teach candidates how to celebrate the pre-Vatican II
Latin Mass, it emerged last weekend. [I would be happy if the phrase simply ended "seminaries will have to teach".]
A letter from the Ecclesia Dei commission, the body which deals with matters concerning the 1962 missal, said that the Vatican is preparing to order rectors to “provide for the instruction of their candidates in both forms of the Roman Rite” in a forthcoming clarification of Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter which liberated the traditional Mass last July.
The Ecclesia Dei letter said: “Candidates for the priesthood in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church have the right to be instructed in both forms of the Roman Rite.
“Those responsible for the formation of candidates for the priesthood in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church should provide the instruction of their candidates in both forms of the Roman Rite.”
The letter surfaced last weekend on an internet site run by Fr John Zuhlsdorf, an American blogger who once worked for Ecclesia Dei.
Several seminaries which serve England and Wales are planning to follow the Pope’s instructions. [Yay!] This could mean that in a few years every new priest will be qualified to say the traditional Mass. [Brick by brick, my citizens! Brick by brick!]
The Beda College in Rome has no problems with the demands made by the letter, its rector Mgr Roderick Strange said. “When the clarification comes, then we’ll start making provisions for it. We’ll be able to establish the needs for it and so on at that time,” said Mgr Strange.
Fr Mark Crisp, rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham, said he was open to the possibility. [I should hope he is "open".]
“What we have at the moment is a Latin Mass in the ordinary rite [Novus Ordo] once a month and we teach Latin, [Excellent!] though we don’t have anyone competent to teach the extraordinary rite at the moment,” he said. [I’ll come!]
But Canon Jeremy Garrat at St John’s College, Wonersh, expressed caution. “We’d better wait for the instructions from Rome before taking any steps,” he said. [They could ask the exceptional Fr. Finigan, of The Hermeneutic, who already teaches there, to help them with this. But they better do it before he is named to be the next Archbp. of Westminster.]
Rectors from the Venerable English College in Rome, Allen Hall in London and St Cuthbert’s College in Ushaw, Durham, were unavailable for comment. [I am glad Miss Arco took the time to call these seminaries. Good for her! That was interesting.]
The extraordinary form has not been taught in seminaries in England and Wales for over 40 years and most priests today have never been taught how to celebrate it. Priests who have wanted to learn it have had to fund their own lessons at traditional rite seminaries. [Isn’t that sad… and great… at the same time?] One priest ordained in 1967 remembered being trained according to the 1962 missal for the first two years of seminary and then switching to the New Rite. “I can celebrate in both forms but I’m quite rusty on the extraordinary form,” he said.
In the letter giving the reasons for the Motu Proprio Pope Benedict XVI noted that the extraordinary form was increasingly popular among young people.
“Young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist particularly suited to them,” he wrote.
But with the liberalisation of the traditional Mass came the problem that too few priests were actually able to celebrate in the extraordinary form.
There has now been a surge of interest in the rite, according to John Medlin of the Latin Mass Society. He said he hoped the clarification of the Motu Proprio would be published soon to clear up confusion and to end attempts to stall new initiatives.