I had this strong sense of déjà vu when I opened the e-mail containing the following. Had I fallen through a fracture in the time/space continuum? Had a wormhole of hermeneutical "discontinuity and rupture" drifted through my inbox bringing up something from the past?
But no… I found a new set of diocesan norms for the Motu Proprio.
I received the text of the norms for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum issued by H.E. Most Reverend John F. Kinney, Bishop of Saint Cloud.
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments. I lost a lot of formatting converting the document to a less clunky form.
In accord with the Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, issued motu proprio on July 7, 2007, and the Holy Father’s accompanying letter to the Bishops of the Church; and in response to requests of the faithful of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, I hereby issue the norms for the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist according to the extraordinary form (forma extraordinaria) following the 1962 Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII. [I am forced to muse on the reasons why dioceses need norms for Summorum Pontificum. Wouldn’t it be better to work with the Motu Proprio itself… while we await the document that will clarify some of the confusing points?]
In past years, such Masses with the permissions required at the time were celebrated at Saint Mary’s Cathedral and in more recent times, at Sacred Heart Church in Flensburg. With Summorum Pontificum, I received renewed requests from members of the faithful for such celebrations in the Saint Cloud area as well.
It is my intention that the forma extraordinaria of the Mass will continue to be celebrated according to current practice at Sacred Heart Church in Flensburg as long as both a capable celebrant and a stable community of the faithful who request it remain present to allow for this celebration.
In addition to the Mass in Flensburg, and hearing those requests from the faithful, I intend to make the cerebration of Mass in the forma extraordinaria available in the Saint Cloud metro area as well. [You know.. that’s great! The bishop intends to do this. Wonderful! At the same time, remember that the Motu Proprio says that pastors of parishes can do this on their own. I bring this up only to remind that the Pope put this matter in the hands of priests.] Therefore, beginning , 2008, I hereby designate the Church of Saint John Cantius in Saint Cloud as the place for this celebration of one Mass in the forma extraordinaria on all Sundays and holy days of obligation, as assigned in the Ordo of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. This celebration of the extraordinary form is to be scheduled on a regular and stable basis in consultation with the pastor of the Church of Saint John Cantius, in consideration of and with precedence to the existing parish schedule for Mass and other liturgical rites and parish activities. [Note that this is not a "personal parish". All Extraordinary Form Masses seem to be taking a secondary role in the parish. But remember: the parish priest can do this without the bishop being involved. My concern is that this gives the impression that the bishop’s permission is needed to do with this "decree" established. Again, it is wonderful that the bishop want to be supportive. But let’s not distort what Summorum Pontificum established.]
All other details regarding these celebrations are outlined in the accompanying norms.
I am grateful for the faith and dedication to the Church demonstrated by those who have contacted me regarding the celebration of the forma extraordinaria. It is my hope that these norms will help meet the spiritual needs of the faithful of the Diocese and achieve the "interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church" and the unity that motivated Pope Benedict XVI to issue Summorum Pontificum.
Sincerely in Christ,
+ John F. Kinney Bishop of Saint Cloud
NORMS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE APOSTOLIC LETTER MOTU PROPRIO OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM IN THE DIOCESE OF SAINT CLOUD
1) In the Diocese of Saint Cloud, the places designated for the celebration of the Mass in Latin, according to the forma extraordinaria as outlined in Summorum Pontificum and following the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII, will be two:
— the Church of the Sacred Heart in Flensburg, as currently
— the Church of Saint John Cantius in Saint Cloud, beginning September 14, 2008
In these churches, one Mass following the forma extraordinaria may be celebrated [because Summorum Pontificum says so] on all Sundays and holy days of obligation according to the liturgical calendar in the 1962 Missal. It may also be celebrated in these churches for funerals and weddings, when the faithful request such celebration, a capable celebrant is available, and the celebration does not conflict with the ordinary liturgical needs of the parish. [All others must go to the back of the bus, or use that other drinking fountain.]
The current Lectionary for Mass may be used for the readings while following the 1962 liturgical calendar. [Really? I wonder how that would go over, but okaaay….] Whatever edition for the Scriptures is used must, however, have received the recognitio of the Holy See.
[Do you see how, more and more, we find that now that Summorum Pontficum is in force, some people want to implement Ecclesia Dei adflicta? Implement the 1988 Motu Proprio which still left the matter entirely in the hands of the bishops regarding public Masses?]
2) The scheduling, requisites for the celebration of the Mass, musicians, and other specific matters pertaining to these celebrations are to be coordinated with the pastor of the host parish or his delegate. All applicable universal and particular laws are to be observed in the celebration of the Mass in the forma extraordinaria and other liturgical rites. [What does aim at, I wonder?]
3) The forma extraordinaria of the Mass in these churches will be celebrated by priests designated by the local ordinary; these priests must possess the required liturgical formation and facility in the Latin language to allow for a truly reverent and fitting celebration of the Mass. [How is that decided?]
4) The people who participate in the forma extraordinaria of the Mass are not constituted as a personal parish, but remain members of the parish in which they reside, in accord with canon 102 of the Code of Canon Law, with all the rights and responsibilities attached thereto.
5) Offerings made for these celebrations of the Mass for a specific intention will be the property of the celebrant. Offerings made in a collection among the faithful will be the property of the host parish, who will administer these funds through a separate account. [A separate account.] The host parish will pay a stipend, determined by the diocesan chancellor, to the celebrant of each Mass, and will make available funds from this separate account for the payment for requisites for celebration of the Mass in the forma extraordinaria in that church at the direction of the diocesan chancellor. [Okay… something is becoming clearer. There are questions of the administration of the funds that a) result from these Mass and b) are required to reimburse the parish and priests. Perhaps this is the motivation for this set of "norms"?]
6) For the administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage: Summorum Pontificum directs that the pastor of the place, all things duly considered, may grant permission for the administration of these sacraments according to the older ritual in force in 1962 if the good of souls suggests it. I hereby direct that the administration of the aforementioned sacraments may take place according to the older ritual at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Flensburg and the Church of Saint John Cantus in Saint Cloud under the following conditions:
a) the recipients of the sacraments are properly disposed, [This would be the case for the reception of any sacrament with any book, right? For example, careful consideration of the state of couples requesting marriage in a Catholic parish would be carefully reviewed? The level of preparation for candidates for confirmation? The level of competence in Latin for candidates for ordination, as per the 1983 Code of Canon Law? So… this is clearly reasonable.] ask at opportune times, and are not impeded by law (canon 843);
b) the recipients of the sacraments are properly prepared for their reception according to applicable diocesan standards and all other universal or particular laws;
c) the recipients of the sacraments, or those legitimately responsible for them in the case of minors, request such a celebration according to the older ritual on their own volition;
d) the faithful remain free to request these sacraments according to the current rituals as well;
e) as applicable, the celebration of these sacraments as well as funerals are to be recorded in the parish where they are celebrated, with notification to the parish of baptism, in accord with Canon Law.
7) As regards the celebration of First Communion and First Penance: children are to be prepared in accord with the program of their proper parish and are to receive these sacraments first in the ordinary form. [Huh? They are not permitted… according to their right… to have a sacrament in the older form? What if the parents desire that they have First Communion in a TLM? If a person is well-disposed, properly disposed and prepared, as it must be assumed First Communicants are, then … it is right to impede them from exercising their rights? Can one really impose this choice on parents and their children? I know that the Code says that pastors of souls have their role in the decision process about the proper moment of First Penance and Communion, but can he determine that they may not make that Communion at a TLM?] If, afterwards, they and their families choose to celebrate these sacraments according to the older ritual, they may do so. Because of the concrete circumstances of availability of these two forms, facility in receiving these sacraments in both the ordinary and extraordinary form is encouraged. [I suspect that this would not hold up were someone to ask the Pontifical Commission about it. Just a guess.]
8) As regards the sacrament of Confirmation, candidates for Confirmation are to be prepared in accord with the program of their proper parish and receive this sacrament in their proper parish in the ordinary form.
9) These norms will be adapted as may be necessary to conform to the direction of the Holy See. All other questions that may arise regarding the Mass or other sacraments according to the forma extraordinaria are to be directed to the Chancery of the Diocese. [Remembering always that every Catholic also has the right to recourse directly to the Holy See.]
Given at the Chancery of the diocese of Saint Cloud,
Most Reverend John F. Kinney Bishop of Saint Cloud
There are a few puzzling things here.
First of all: why the norms at all? It has been a long time since we have seen that flurry of activity about Summorum Pontificum from chanceries. So, something must have prompted this, especially in light of the fact that the Holy Father has on his desk a document which might change all this. So, I am guessing that they arose from some tussle or other.
I note with interest that these norms deal with money. I think that is reasonable.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, as many people do, that anything having to do with Church is "free". Someone, somehow, has to pay for the upkeep of the church and the just compensation of the priest. Priests don’t do things just for money, generally. But they have expenses and the right to have their living from the Lord’s altar. This has to be regulated in some way. The norms bring a little clarity to that. I think it is reasonable also to require that if people want to have X,Y, or Z in a parish, they should also provide the means so that it can be done.
There are probably local dynamics here. People will chime in, I am sure.
At last, however, two things are bothersome.
I am not so concerned about the use the Novus Ordo Lectionary with the 1962MR as I am about the following.
First, I cannot get my head around requiring, or trying to require, that parents may not have their children receive First Communion at an Extraordinary Form Mass. That reminds me of the uncharitable manipulations of seminary faculty and chancery people who want to place a seminarian or priest somewhere quite wrong for that individual, or parish, so as to "stretch" him. Try to force him into some sort of "mainstream" which is perceived as superior to what the guy is is inclined to or – in most cases – actually suited to. So… imagine now a family who has been involved in some independent chapel or a slip-off group such as the SSPX or sedevacantists, or some family driving many miles for a TLM, because that is all they want to attend according to their sensibilities. They intended to attend only the TLM, as a family, in the future. These people have to go to a Novus Ordo Mass for Junior’s first Hooly Communion? Is that the right thing to impose? Take away the parents legitimate right to attend the form of Mass that is legitimately made available in a legitimate church or chapel of Holy Catholic Church in the Roman Rite to which they belong?
Second, I must repeat, now that Summorum Pontificum is out, we see willingness on the part of some to implement Ecclesia Dei adflicta. We should be very aware of this trend.