It is one thing to make a mistake, that’s human. But to persist in error over a long a period of time,… that is harder to grasp.
I got an e-mail from a reader including a scan of a letter received from H.E. Most Rev. Roger L. Schweitz, Archbishop of Anchorage.
It seems His Excellency is still laboring under the false impression that Summorum Pontificum requires certain things, or that the 1962 Missale Romanum must not be used except when certain criteria are met. To wit…
1. The 1962 Roman Missal must be celebrated will all of the rubrics in place; These would include a sanctuary that has 3 steps, an altar rail, and an altar that does not face the people and is permanently attached to a wall;
2. The priest must use all of the approximately 400 rubrics required for a licit and valid celebration of the Mass;
3. The priest must be able to use the Latin language in the appropriate fashion;
4. All of the vestments must be those approved for the 1962 Roman Missal;
5. There must be a stable community that desires and will benefit from the celebration of the 1962 Rite.
The thing is, His Excellency wrote this before and on 25 February WDTPRS wrote about him writing it.
I am sure that many of you readers can pick this apart and show, perhaps better I, how simply wrong are the impressions of the person who wrote this for the Archbishop.
However, we can have a couple brief comments.
1) Of course the rubrics must be observed! That applies to the 2002 Missale Romanum also! I wonder how stringently that is being observed? But neither 3 steps nor an altar fixed to the wall are obligatory for the celebration of the older Mass.
2) 400 rubrics? Big deal! The Novus Ordo has rubrics too. Priests could learn them before. They can learn them now.
3) I should hope the priest wouldn’t use Latin in an inappropriate fashion! Quod Deus avertat!
4) Approved vestments… so? Again, big deal. But, who would say that if you don’t follow all the rubrics the Mass is invalid? If, for example, I forget to say a Gloria on the day of a saint that should have a Gloria, will the Mass be invalid? If I forget to omit blessing the water during a Requiem, the Mass is invalid? What if I omit a geneflection or two because I have a broken leg?
5) The "stable community" issue must not be so strictly interpreted so that nobody can have it.