D. of Altoona-Johnstown: a note to priests about TLMs

A reader sent a note from the Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown:

Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Office of The Bishop
126 Logan Boulevard
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

December 17, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Pastoral Service to the Household of God,

This is to inform you that the Reverend Ananias Buccicone, OSB, a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe and Pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in Patton, is celebrating Mass once weekly (on Sunday) in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine). This Mass is sanctioned and fulfills the Sunday obligation, Father Ananias having been confirmed by our Diocesan Office of Liturgy as having the necessary skills. Furthermore, the Mass is open to anyone in the Diocese who feels an association with that form of liturgical celebration, my having determined the need to grant such permission.  [Even though the Holy Father has established that parish priests can implement Summorum Pontificum without the permission of the local bishop.]

There are at least two schismatic churches within the confines of our Diocese that are celebrating Mass in a different rite and claim to be in union (one way or another) with the Roman Catholic Church. One is in Saint Lawrence and the other in Lilly. Neither, or course, recognize the Bishop of Rome as the Pope under whose jurisdiction they function.

Therefore, no Roman Catholic attending a Mass there fulfills his or her Sunday obligation.  [hmmm… I wonder what one does about the Code of Canon Law, can. 1248 – 1. "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."  Sanction from the local bishop isn’t a requirement for the fulfillment of the obligation.  The Holy See has said repeatedly that attending Masses of, for example, the SSPX, fulfills the obligation according to can 1248 – 1.  I am not a canonist, so I cannot tell if a local bishop has the ability to point to a specific chapel and say that, at that place, a person doesn’t fulfill his obligation.  We need a canonist, I think.  We could learn something here.]

Those members of the Faithful who take advantage of this special celebration of the Mass at Queen of Peace Church in Patton are to continue being active in and supportive of their respective parishes.

Since Queen of Peace Parish has not been established as a parish that celebrates Mass exclusively in the Extraordinary Form, non-members may not join that parish solely out of a liturgical motivation[Hmmm… I wonder what this means for any Catholic travelling outside his terittorial parish for Mass because Mass or something else at his local parish is intolerable, or if he wants to go back to the parish he grew up in.]

I am not asking you to advertise this special celebration of Mass at Queen of Peace in Patton. Rather, you are being informed so that you can accurately respond to any inquiries that may come your way.

Fraternally yours in the Lord,
(Most Rev.) Joseph V. Adamec
Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown

An interesting note.  You can write to me with comments.

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