I haven’t been online much lately, due to connection problems. But I have been busy listening, conversing and thinking about many issues having to do with Summorum Pontificum, the older and newer forms of Mass, the people who adhere to them, etc.
There has been a bit of a flap about what His Eminence Card. Castrillon Hoyos said in off-the-cuff remarks to a conference meeting in Rome on the occasion of the first year of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
My photo shows Card. Castrillon during these very comments. He is seated between Msgr. Perl and the moderator of the conference Fr. Nuara.
What really got people’s attention it seems is His Eminence’s statements that some people are not satisfied with what has been done for them.
Well… yes. He said that and what he said is true in some cases.
But I think His Eminence was speaking as much to an attitude with which people express themselves as to the concrete things they want.
Sure, many are frustrated that more isn’t being done in some places to offer celebrations of, for example, the older form of Mass. This frustration is understandable. Others are frustrated that they have some Masses available, but not more Masses. Still others, a small group, will express bitter impatience and frustration that the Novus Ordo hasn’t yet been suppressed.
I think we all know that isn’t going to happen any time soon, right? And making requests along these lines… actually writing and then sending them… really doesn the whole project harm.
Indeed, there are some for whom, no matter what you do, it will never be enough. I remember once driving hours to say Mass for a group and not only did not a single person bother even to thank me for coming, but I even heard griping about m biretta and the vestments (which weren’t mine), etc.
Most of the time, I think, these expressions of frustration come from decades of being deeply hurt by their priests and bishops and other Catholics who showed contempt for their aspirations about the older form of Mass and the Sacraments and the expressions of doctrine and devotion that go hand in hand with them. Now, when they do have greater recognition of their rights, they are venting a little, of course… but when they sense that old treatment rearing its ugliness, when they receive that blow upon the bruise, they lash out as they did of old.
And there are, simply put, also some people are happy only when they are unhappy.
That said, we can take a look at an article by CNS writer Cindy Wooden on what Card. Castrillon said.
Cardinal: Some not satisfied even after pope’s Tridentine Mass decree
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
ROME (CNS) — Rather than being grateful, some people have reacted to Pope Benedict XVI’s wider permission for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass with further demands, said Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. [This sets a bit of a sour note at the start. Sure, as I said above, there are still some difficult folks out there. But there are also many who are grateful and irenic. I wish they would write to the Commission and their bishops to express gratitude!]
The cardinal, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," spoke Sept. 16 at a conference marking the first anniversary of "Summorum Pontificum," the document by which Pope Benedict expanded access to the Tridentine rite, the Mass rite used before the Second Vatican Council.
Cardinal Castrillon, whose commission works with communities using the old rite, said his office continues to receive letters requesting the Tridentine rite be used not just at one Mass a week but at every Mass, and that such Masses be available not just at one church in a town but at every church.
He said he even got a letter demanding that Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major be dedicated exclusively to the celebration of the Tridentine-rite Mass.
Such people, he said, are "insatiable, incredible."
"They do not know the harm they are doing," Cardinal Castrillon said, adding that when the Vatican does not accept their demands immediately "they go directly to the Internet" and post their complaints. [Well… YAH! This is called freedom of expression. This is also the 21st century. The internet is now something that must be taken into consideration. It isn’t going away… any more than the Novus Ordo is going away. Alas, sometimes people make unreasonable requests and they can be pesky. They often don’t think things through very well. They often say things they shouldn’t. But let’s turn the sock inside out and see the other side. I don’t see the Holy See acting with lightning speed to respond to some serious concerns that need to be addressed. Some of the frustration being expressed through the alternative media and means of communication is rising because there is a perception that not a lot is being done to carry forward what we have been told is a desirable thing: …. Didn’t we hear from someone that the Holy Father desired that the older Mass be widespread, indeed that perhaps even many…. even every… parish might have it? So is it a surprise that people express themselves about that? ]
The cardinal and officials in his office have been saying for more than a year now that they were preparing detailed instructions responding to questions about how to implement the papal document, which said the Mass in the new Roman Missal, introduced in 1970, remains the ordinary way of Catholic worship. [And so the question is… where’s the document?]
Asked about the status of those detailed instructions, Cardinal Castrillon told Catholic News Service that his office had completed its work and passed the draft on to the pope, who would make the final decision about its publication.
In addition to responding to the desire of Catholics who wanted more frequent and easier access to Mass celebrated in the old rite, the pope’s 2007 document was seen as a major step toward reconciliation with the followers of the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated when he ordained four bishops against the express wishes of Pope John Paul II. [I suspect that on the list of those who are not satisifed with what has been given, you might find some members of the SSPX.]
But the process of reconciliation broke down in late June when Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X and one of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, failed to meet four conditions posed by Cardinal Castrillon for moving the process forward. [Hang on… I am not sure that they absolutely refused. Didn’t Card. Castrillon express a measure of qualified satisfaction that he received a response?]
"The Eucharist should never become a point of contrast and a point of separation," Cardinal Castrillon said at the Sept. 16 conference. "What is more important: the mystery of God who becomes bread or the language by which we celebrate the mystery?"
The cardinal said the Mass — in whatever language it is celebrated — must be a service motivated by love and "never a sword" used against other Christians.
By making it easier for priests to celebrate the older liturgy and for the faithful to have access to it, he said, "the vicar of Christ (the pope) was not just exercising his task of governing, but was exercising his task of sanctifying" the people of God.
"When we are before the greatest expression of love for humanity — the Eucharist — how can we fight?" Cardinal Castrillon asked. [While I agree entirely with that, it is not really too hard to grasp why people fight about it. It the Eucharist, the Sacrament and its celebration, are trully the fons et culmen as we have been told incessantly since Vatican II, then we shouldn’t be surprised that people get worked up over it, especially in climate where a venerable rite was virtually supressed, those who loved it were marginalized, and liturgical abuses reigned far and wide for years.]