You might remember an entry we had on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum desired by His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Brom.
His Excellency sent a letter in May in which he announced his will to impose a competency test on any priest thinking to exercise his rights as a priest of the Latin Rite to celebrate in Latin using the Novus Ordo or use the 1962 Missale Romanum under Summorum Pontificum.
In some respects, His Excellency’s letter sounded as if Summorum Pontificum didn’t exist.
Now there is another memo from the chancery, sent to me by a kind reader, actually several kind readers:
June 3, 2008
To: Priests in the Diocese of San Diego
Fr: Bishop Robert Brom
Re: Latin in the Liturgy
This is to follow up on my May 16th communication to you regarding Latin in the Liturgy.
Re: Competency Evaluation to Celebrate Liturgies in Latin.
A subcommittee to evaluate linguistic and rubrical competence includes Msgr. John Dickie, Father Frank Penko and Father John Proctor.
Again, competency 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) should not be presumed but verified by this subcommittee of the Latin in the Liturgy Committee.
Appointments for an evaluation should be made through Father John Proctor:
Re: Consultation before Scheduling Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Once again, before scheduling or continuing to schedule Mass in the extraordinary form or other sacraments according to the older ritual, pastors should consult with the Latin in the Liturgy Committee.
Appointments for a consultation should be made through Father Bruce Orsborn:
Evaluations and consultations will take place in the Liturgy Office at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.
Thank you for your cooperation in this important pastoral matter.
This raises questions.
First, the Code of Canon Law since 1983 requires that seminarians be well-trained in Latin.
Second, if there are going to be tests for Latin, will there be tests for English? Will all the priests of habitually using the Novus Ordo be tested for competency in the rubrics?
Also, what if there is going to be, say, a sung Sanctus or Agnus Dei in a Mass and… gasp … Father sings along wihtout having been declared competent to do so! And will there be a separate test for Greek so he can say Kyrie eleison?