His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Brom, Biship of San Diego in California has issued a statement to priests about the implementation of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
But there is an interesting twist in it.
A kind reader transcribed the memo and so I can share it with you.
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments. The underscore is in the original.
May 16, 2008
To: Priests in the Diocese of San Diego
Fr: Bishop Robert Brom
Re: Latin in the Liturgy
Enclosed you will find a slightly revised version of the Application to the Diocese of San Diego of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum.
After discussion with the Presbyteral Council, I have decided to form a committee of the council to assist me with the proper implementation of this Motu Propio. Members of this Latin in the Liturgy Committee [Nota bene: This concerns Latin, the Latin language.] will be Bishop Salvatore Cordileone and Fathers Bruce Orsborn (chair), Matt Spahr, John Dickie and John Proctor.
The committee will help me in the following ways:
1. to assure the competency of priests who wish to celebrate in Latin either the Mass (whether in the extraordinary or ordinary form) or other sacraments (whether according to the older or present ritual); [So, this concerns both the older and newer forms of both Mass and all the other rites for which you need to use the Rituale Romanum, in the older or newer forms. The point is Latin. However, this also demonstrates that the training priests have received has a huge gap in it. They should have been trained in Latin in seminary. At least the Code of Canon Law says so.]
2. to evaluate [not quite sure what "evaluate" means here] with pastors the conditions required for celebrating the extraordinary form of Mass in their parish when they have received such a request; [First, we don’t know what "evaluate" is. Are they simply going to offer advice? Will they attempt to approve of deny implemenation of the Motu Proprio? Priests who are pastors don’t need any advice from a committee. According to Summorum Pontificum, the pastor, not a committee, makes these decisions about the parish. Also, this assumes there are requests. Card. Castrillon Hoyos (Pres. of the P.C. "Ecclesia Dei", recently said that priests can and should provide the older form of Mass even if people have not yet requested it. He indicated that this is also the will of the Supreme Pontiff. I still want to see that in a document, however. Still, you can sense, in this point #2, that the powers that be in San Diego want to continue as if Summorum Pontificum didn’t exist.]
3. to evaluate requests for regional, interparochial or non-parish-based celebrations of the extraordinary form of Mass;
4. to evaluate with pastors requests made to them for the administration of other sacraments in Latin according to the older ritual; [Surely pastors can evaluate these things on their own.]
5. to ensure that responding to the good of those who desire the extraordinary form of Mass or the celebration of other sacraments according to the older ritual will not undermine the unity of the Church. [HUH? How will celebrating a sacrament with the older Rituale undermine the unity of the Church? I should think that not using the Rituale when requested would more likely drive people toward some chapel that was not in union with Rome or the local biship.]
Consequently, I am asking [I am not sure what this means. Is this request a requirement? If so, it seems to fly in the face the legislation of the Supreme Pontiff.] every priest in the Diocese of San Diego to respect the following protocol:
1. Competency to celebrate the Mass or other sacraments in Latin will not be presumed but verified by the Latin in the Liturgy Committee before any such celebrations are attempted. [Here is a problem. I think that because someone stood up and announced to the bishop at the time the men were being ordained, that those candidates were worthy, the assumption has to be made that they are in fact competent, unless they demonstrate they are not. So, this seems like a tourniquets looped around the necks of the priests.]
2. Pastors will consult with the Latin in the Liturgy Committee before they schedule Mass in the extraordinary form or other sacraments according to the older ritual. [This is a "request", apparently. But who knows what this means, in practical terms.] .
Our collaboration in this matter is extremely important since, as you know, bishops with their priests are to be the directors, promoters, and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the church entrusted to them.
Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI
APPLICATION TO THE DIOCESE OF SAN DIEGO
According to the Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum, priests are authorized to use the Roman Missal of 1962 in the celebration of Masses without the people on any day except in the Sacred Triduum (art.2). The faithful who spontaneously request it may be admitted to these private celebrations (art.4).
Notwithstanding this authorization, priests should not attempt celebrating Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 without competence as regards both the rubrics involved and the Latin language required (cf. the cover letter of Pope Benedict to his Apostolic Letter). [We are back to the big question of what idoneus means in the Motu Proprio. Also, the cover letter of Pope Benedict is not the actual legislative document.]
They may do so in churches or chapels only with permission of the appropriate authority, and may not advertise these private celebrations. [Did you get that? This is saying that Summorum Pontificum doesn’t apply to the Diocese of San Diego. Priests still need permission of the bishop, or whomever, to say Mass publicly. Is that not clearly contrary to the Motu Proprio? Correct me if I am wrong. Notice there is no citation of the Motu Proprio or the Pope’s cover letter here.]
Religious communities may have celebrations of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 as authorized by the Apostolic Letter (art.3). [So, religious priests can enjoy their proper rights as outlined in the Motu Proprio, but diocesan priests, or religious who are pastors, cannot? Great.]
Pastors and Parishes
In any parish, a stable group of parishioners who are attached to the older form of the Roman Rite may request the celebration of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 on weekdays or even on Sundays and feasts (art. 5.1 & 5.2).
Pastors may accede to such requests only when they come from their own parishioners and when a competent priest is available to preside. [So… are they going to stand at the door and check identification cards? "Dein Ausweis, bitte! Sorry, you may not enter. You belong to St. Ipsidipsy down the street. Away with you! Also, notice that there is no citation here of any paragraph of Summorum Pontificum, as there is in the point before and those which follow.]
Pastors must see to it that the good of these parishioners is harmoniously reconciled with the overall pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to Canon 392, always avoiding discord and fostering the unity of the whole Church (art. 5.1).
Subject to these same conditions, pastors may permit celebrations of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 in particular circumstances such as weddings and funerals (art. 5.3).
As the good of souls may suggest, pastors may grant permission to use the older ritual in administering the Sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, i.e., Extreme Unction (art. 9.1). [But do they have to call the committee first? "Hey guys, I have someone about to die here. Can I consult with you about the use of the old Rituale?]
Again, pastors may grant such permission only to their own parishioners, and when there are celebrants available with rubrical and linguistic competence. [Again, no citation from the Motu Proprio. Interesting. This begs the question of how competently many priests celebrate the Novus Ordo in the vernacular. I think there would also have to be committees set up for every language in use in San Diego. I am guessing there might be a few.]
Just as in the celebration of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962} there may be no intermingling of parts from the new Roman Missal, so in administering the other Sacraments according to an older ritual, there may be no intermingling of parts from the new rituals.
Permission of the pastor is required for any other priest to preside at a parochial celebration of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 or at a parochial celebration of the other Sacraments according to older rites.
Permission of the Bishop [!] is needed by any priest who wishes to preside at a celebration of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 or at a celebration of the other Sacraments according to older rites outside of a parish church, for example, in chapels. [Really?]
Permission of the Bishop [!] is also required for individuals or groups of the faithful who desire interparochial or non-parish-based celebrations of Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 or celebrations of the other Sacraments according to older rites.
May 15, 2008
It strikes me that the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio was not give a very warm reception in the chancery of the Diocese of San Diego.