QUAERITUR: How has the Holy Father promoted the TLM?

I got this question:

Fr. Z,

I would be very interested to hear what you and/or your readers would have to say to this question.

In our diocese, a priest recently stated in a public forum that "Pope Benedict is encouraging the use of the Tridentine Mass."  Another priest later reprimanded him, saying that the Pope has merely permitted this form of the Roman rite, but is not encouraging it.  Now, apart from the obvious fact that to permit something in the manner in which the motu proprio permits it would be construed by most reasonable people as a form of encouragement, there remains a subtle distinction between allowing a thing (which almost sounds like a form of toleration) and actively fostering it.  And the (to me, somewhat surprising) fact that our Holy Father has not yet publicly celebrated the extraordinary form could lend support to the claim — at least among those who are not familiar with what Ratzinger has been writing and doing for decades.  This, then, is my question: How many pieces of evidence can we put together that indicate something more than mere permission?  I will offer one example: the Pope’s agreeing to diaconal ordinations in St. John Lateran, the Bishop of Rome’s own cathedral.  Can you list other such papal statements or gestures that amount to a promotion of the old rite?

The first thing to consider is the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum itself.  The Pope obviously intended to do something very different from the provisions inherent in Quatuor abhinc annos and Ecclesia Dei adflicta.

Also, there is his explanatory cover letter.

I think we can also search his works on liturgy, and also prefaces to books.

He has mentioned the older rite a few times in sermons as Pope.

Most immediately, I must stress what His Eminence Card. Castrillon Hoyos said recently.

Card. Castrillon Hoyos recorded a video for the new DVD produced by the FSSP and EWTN.  He said that priests don’t need to wait for requests from the faithful to begin having the TLM in their parishes.  He indicated that the Holy Father desires that celebrations of the TLM become normal.

Here is a YouTube of the section on the DVD.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL7Zf-BtQxU]

Read also this

 

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28 Responses to QUAERITUR: How has the Holy Father promoted the TLM?

  1. Norman Lee says:

    There’s also the comments in “Salt of the Earth” in p 176-177 about him seeing nothing wrong with more celebrations of the TLM.

  2. Kudos to the one phrasing the question.

    However, the psychology of such an apologetic may be misguided, for it seems to be aimed at quelling an alarmist attitude found among some Ordinary Form goers, who think that such a question of promotion is a question of forbidding the Ordinary Form. Nothing can be done to quell that attitude, except to pray for more reasonable times. Perhaps one can mention the distinction between the OF and EF.

    Or am I missing something all this time?

  3. To most of those who prefer to think Pope Benedict is merely tolerating the TLM rather than encouraging it — or even that he simply regards it as a only necessary evil till those “attached to it” are finally eradicated — what he says or writes means little. They’re not interesting in reading his books and articles and letters, and can ignore or even deny whatever they contain, because few of their target audience in the pews read this esoteric stuff anyway.

    No, what he actually does speaks far louder to them. They will not get the message until they see on global Catholic television the Pope celebrating a TLM in St. Peter’s Basilica. Until then, they can continue to feel free to marginalize the extraordinary form, to deny its legitimacy, and to discriminate against those who support it, and even to persecute those (like priests) whom they can.

    Or am I too pessimistic? (As I certainly hope.)

  4. PeterHWright says:

    How has the Holy Father promoted the TLM ?
    Well, we all know Pope Benedict XVI has established in the diocese of Rome a personal parish at the church of Ss. Trinta dei Pellegrini for the exclusive daily celebration of the old rite, served by priests of FSSP.
    If that is not fostering the old Mass, then I don’t know what is.

  5. RBrown says:

    Perhaps the question to ask is: Does Vat II permit vernacular liturgy or encourage it?

  6. Vatican II said that the vernacular can be used, but not exclusively according to my understanding. The Latin in some parts must be retained. (Eg: Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Pater Noster).

  7. RBrown says:

    Vatican II said that the vernacular can be used, but not exclusively according to my understanding. The Latin in some parts must be retained. (Eg: Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Pater Noster).
    Comment by Joe of St. Thérèse

    My question was rhetorical . . . and ironic.

  8. Adam says:

    It’s also worth noting that His Holiness, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, celebrated the extraordinary form; something I doubt he would have done if it weren’t something he thought should be promoted.

  9. Joe says:

    This whole matter reminds me of a commercial from a few years back. The boss and asks his aide if the car they’re receiving at the airport is a Hertz car. The reply, “not exactly.”

    I’ve read the books and think that most ROTR and Traditionalists stay more informed than the average parishioner. What they’re more likely to see or hear is that only five or so parishes among the hundred in a diocese offer the EF more than once a month. People in small numbers do ask for the EF to find out their bishop has some “quiz” his priests need to take, which tells them that they could care less about celebrating the EF at all. Looking to the one who on his own initiative increased the opportunity to assist at the EF, we haven’t seen the Holy Father celebrate the EF and we’re coming up on a year from the release and almost nine from the date of effect, Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

    I know things don’t move fast in the Church, but we’ve been waiting on this “imminent” letter of clarification for some time, to no avail. One EF mass in a year is not too much to ask to show some support for the faithful who request it.

  10. TerryC says:

    I would say that anyone who has read “Spirit of the Liturgy” knows that Papa Ratzinger is encouraging the TML.

  11. Tom says:

    The Pope promotes the TLM and Novus Ordo.

    He promotes the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue to persons who kneel…and Communion in the hand received while standing.

    He promotes male and female “altar boys.”

    He promotes Latin Masses and vernacular Masses.

    He promotes Mass offered ad orientem and versus populum.

    He promotes the Roman Canon and novel Eucharistic Prayers.

    In short, he promotes Tradition and novelties.

    That is why the Latin Church has been thrown into a state of confusion.

    Are we the Church of Tradition or novel practices?

    Are we the Church of the TLM or Novus Ordo?

    When Peter regains his Traditional Mass, then Latin Catholics will regain their collective Catholic identity.

    Until then, we are the Church of the Novus Ordo and TLM…we are the Church of confusion.

    The Sour Grapes Award

  12. Geoffrey says:

    Among other things, Tom said: “Until then, we are the Church of the Novus Ordo and TLM…we are the Church of confusion.”

    Oh, here we go! I have attended the Ordinary Form of Mass all of my life, and the Extraordinary Form just a few times since it is not available near me. I am not a “confused” Catholic and I resent the alleged superiority of some “traditionalist” Catholics.

    I think the Holy Father wants the Extraordinary Form of Mass to grow, so that it will greatly influence the Ordinary Form of Mass. He has already begun doing so in his own papal liturgies. It will happen very slowly, but I think within 50-100 years, the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms will look so similiar that there will be one form. A true organic development.

  13. Tom says:

    “It will happen very slowly, but I think within 50-100 years, the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms will look so similiar that there will be one form. A true organic development.”

    Some 50-100 years…?

    At that pace, what would remain of Mass attendance? Would 5 percent of Catholics attend Mass?

  14. Tom wrote:
    The Pope promotes the TLM and Novus Ordo. (The NO is not intristicly evl, abusing it, is so)

    He promotes the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue to persons who kneel…and Communion in the hand received while standing. (Communon in the hand is not in itself sacrilegous, but it can lead in that diection, keep in mind our Eastern brethren has been receivi standing for the longest time, although I do have a feeling Communion in the hand will be leaving “soon”)

    He promotes male and female “altar boys.” (I’ve never seen a Papal Mass with “altar girls”, nor have i seen one in the Vatican for that matter)
    He promotes Latin Masses and vernacular Masses. (Mas in the vernacular isn’t necesarily evil either. It’d be nice if we had better translations of the vernacular. Vernacular can be said, with some Latin retained.)

    He promotes Mass offered ad orientem and versus populum. (Not exactly, the Roman Basilicas the altars are built to the west, so in facig versus populum, he’s also facing Ad Orientem, Rome was the exception to the norm, not the norm. Which is why the altars in every other Church (that haven’t been wreckovated), have been built to the east, it’s something that everyone knows, but forgets.

    He promotes the Roman Canon and novel Eucharistic Prayers (The other EP’s are valid, theologically weaker of course, but valid. I myself would prefer if the Roman Canon was used exculsively, but until that day comes, I, IV, III, II are my order for EP’s.)

    Even though things such as Communion in the Hand were forced upon us i’s not going to all be cleaned up over night. Far from it, the Church isn’t in the state of confusion, things are going in the right direction.

  15. Tom: Your negativity is testing my good will. With all the additional work the blog is creating for me right now because of the technical problems, I suppose a positive outlook and a very sweet disposition for a while.

  16. Geoffrey:I resent the alleged superiority of some “traditionalist” Catholics.

    Might as well relax. I agree that some of these folks wear pretty thin when they never have anything new to say, but keep belaboring us with it anyway. But we no more reason to resent a few way out “traditionalist” Catholics, than to resent the many mainstream “progressive” Catholics who are as disparaging of the TLM as Tom is of the NO Mass. Especially since the former are seen mostly on the web, but the latter abound in the flesh. (Speaking as one who worships gratefully at both the TLM on Sundays and the NO daily, as do many of the traditionally minded Catholics in my local community.)

  17. Tom says:

    “Even though things such as Communion in the Hand were forced upon us i’s not going to all be cleaned up over night.”

    What is to be “cleaned up?”

    Does the Pope believe that Communion in the hand, altar girls, novel Eucharistic Prayers and additional novel liturgical practices are to be cleaned up?

    The majority of Latin Church bishops certainly do not believe that said practices need to be “cleaned up.”

    The Holy Father, for example, “cleaned up” the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews.

    But I haven’t encountered any evidence that the Pope believes that various Novus Ordo novelties that he has favored are to be “cleaned up.”

    The Pope promotes, at least on paper, the TLM.

    In actual practice, he promotes the Novus Ordo Mass.

    Correct?

    Therefore, we stand where we stand in the Latin Church.

    We have the TLM and Novus Ordo novelties…and the Pope and Latin Church bishops (Bishop Rifan excluded) promote each day the Novus Ordo Mass.

    That is reality.

  18. Tom says:

    “Tom: Your negativity is testing my good will.”

    Father, what do you mean?

  19. Tom says:

    “…who are as disparaging of the TLM as Tom is of the NO Mass.”

    Speaking of “disparaging” the Novus Ordo…

    I simply stand in the tradition of the majority of Latin Church bishops who “disparaged” the Novus Ordo during the 1967 Synod of Bishops.

    As you recall, the majority of bishops rejected the Novus Ordo…and believed that said Mass would empty their parishes.

    Do you believe that the Novus Ordo has benefitted the Church?

    Or do you believe that the majority of Latin Church bishops at the 1967 Synod were on target regarding the Novus Ordo?

  20. RBrown says:

    Tom,

    Much of what you say is true, but I have a few problems with it:

    FIRST, as I’ve said here before, it is more than just a question of Latin (or use of the 1962 Missal). Rome is trying to regain control of the liturgy, which it had abandoned to ordinaries over 35 years ago. This is obviously an organizational problem (of which Latin is a part). I think a public papal mass using the 1962 Missal will have great effect, but Rome is (or should be) concerned that by saying such a mass the pope will isolate himself–and this exacerbate the organization problem.

    SECOND, I know of no example of JRatzinger promoting altar girls or Communion in the hand.

    THIRD, your reference to the Good Friday prayer is indicative of your attitude here. You seem to think no statement is adequate unless it says something negative. Thus a Good Friday prayer for the Jews is insufficient–it must say that they are faithless.

  21. Tom says:

    “SECOND, I know of no example of JRatzinger promoting altar girls or Communion in the hand.”

    Pope Benedict XVI has given his blessings to the following liturgical practices: Holy Communion in the hand and altar girls. Correct?

    Therefore, I am not sure as to why you claimed that the Pope hasn’t promoted the above practices.

  22. Tom says:

    “THIRD, your reference to the Good Friday prayer is indicative of your attitude here. You seem to think no statement is adequate unless it says something negative. Thus a Good Friday prayer for the Jews is insufficient—it must say that they are faithless.”

    Do you claim that the Traditional Prayer for Jews was negative?

    I don’t believe that said prayer was negative…I believe that said prayer expressed love and good will to Jews.

    Interestingly, a number of conservative Catholic commentators claimed that the novel Good Friday prayer composed recently by the Pope is actually more “pointed” than the traditional prayer in question.

    Therefore, is the new “traditional” prayer for Jews negative?

  23. Sam Schmitt says:

    Tom,

    You seem to have some issues with the current Holy Father. How about e-mailing him with your concerns? I’m not sure telling us about them is helping anyone (unless Benedict XVI happens to read this blog – then maybe he’d DO something . . . )

  24. RBrown says:

    Pope Benedict XVI has given his blessings to the following liturgical practices: Holy Communion in the hand and altar girls. Correct?
    Comment by Tom

    When did he do that?

  25. RBrown says:

    Do you claim that the Traditional Prayer for Jews was negative?

    It obviously is. Pro perfidis Iudeis–perfidus means faithless, a negative predication.

    I don’t believe that said prayer was negative…I believe that said prayer expressed love and good will to Jews.

    Maybe you didn’t read it well.

    .Interestingly, a number of conservative Catholic commentators claimed that the novel Good Friday prayer composed recently by the Pope is actually more “pointed” than the traditional prayer in question.

    Why should I care what commentators say.

    Therefore, is the new “traditional” prayer for Jews negative?
    Comment by Tom

    No. But it implicitly denies the Double Covenant Theory.

  26. Tom says:

    Pope Benedict XVI has given his blessings to the following liturgical practices: Holy Communion in the hand and altar girls. Correct?
    Comment by Tom

    “When did he do that?”

    His Holiness has not given his blessings to liturgies that feature Communion in the hand and altar girls?

    He has rejected the liturgical practices in question?

  27. Tom says:

    “Why should I care what commentators say.”

    You don’t avail yourself to as much information as possible? You don’t learn from writings and opinions offered by commentators? I do.

    While I do not believe that the Pope should have discarded the traditional prayer in question, I believe, for example, that Father Z (and commentators who expressed opinions in line with Fr. Z’s remarks) are correct regarding the substance of the new prayer in question.

    Regarding commentators (I guess that you don’t care what they say) and the Good Friday prayer for Jews…

    Turning to Fr. Z’s commentary upon the prayer in question is appropriate as this is his blog.

    Therefore, as you viewed the traditional prayer as negative (I don’t and neither does Fr Z…I want to make that clear), then you must view the new prayer in the same light.

    Father Z wrote the following:

    “I found nothing, zero, offensive to Jews in that older version. After, we Christians pray in terms our our own darkness. Still… the first prayers of both the older version and the newer version say the same thing.

    “So, in the second part of the second prayer in the new, revised couplet: there is a direct scriptural reference to the “blindness… caecitas” of the Jews.

    “If the Jews who hear this newer prayer think they have scored a victory over the Church because the Pope was persuaded to change the text, they are very much deluded.

    “The reference to the blindness of the Jews is still there: you just have to take the veil off your Christian Bible and look up the reference.

    “Frankly, I think that if the Jews who were really grousing at the Holy See look at this prayer, they are not going to like what the find.

    “If any Catholic traditionalists are angry that the Pope changed the prayer, they too should pick up their Bibles and take a look around, thinking first, about what the prayer really says.

    The new prayer has retained the substance of the old prayers. As a matter of fact, Pope Benedict has provided a deeper point of reflection.”

    There you have it, RBrown.