Chatter about restructuring of Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei

I have mentioned before, more than once, that it was likely the Pontificial Commission Ecclesia Dei would be assumed into the structure of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  If some other arrangement can be made for religious institutes which are under the Commission’s umbrella, this would make sense.

Our friends at Rorate post this:

Excerpt of a report in the current issue of French magazine Monde et Vie, on rumors regarding a reform of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei:

The pope wishes to use the nomination of his right-hand man [Cardinal Cañizares Llovera] at the helm of the Congregation for Divine Worship [as a means] to profoundly reorganize the Ecclesia Dei Commission, where Cardinal Cañizares is already a member. According to the rumor, which seems to be just backstage gossip, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who has surpassed the age limit for a long time, would cede his place to his current second, Mgr. Camille Perl, a personal friend to Pope Ratzinger, who would be consecrated a bishop for the event[I have hoped for his consecration for years.]

And the Commission would then be attached to the Congregation for Divine Worship, bearing responsibility, within a dicastery, for the Traditional form of the Roman rite, under the patronage of Cardinal Cañizares. […] This means, at any rate, that the Ecclesia Dei Commission is placed within the ecclesial landscape. [Rorate Note: And where is the commission now? Outside the Church?]   [And what happens when a Pharaoh comes who knows not Joseph?]

Besides, its supposed man in charge, Mgr. Perl, is certainly the one in Rome who knows the Traditionalist world best, its twists, its turns, or its detours. He has had the Pope’s ears for a long time. In more than one occasion, his diplomacy has done wonders.

Very interesting.   It is a rumor, but it is interesting.

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27 Responses to Chatter about restructuring of Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei

  1. Bob says:

    I am not convinced that Msgr Perl will be made a bishop. Which rite would be used? Is the Pope ready to have an EF episcopal consecration in St Peter’s? If not, will the “traddies” say that he is too scared to do so? Would he celebrate it, be present at it, etc.?

  2. Brian Mershon says:

    Just one small thing. As much as Msgr. Perl has been alleged to have done for traditionalists while dealing with the anti-traditional bishops worldwide over the years, wouldn’t it be great to ordain Msgr. Schmitz or Fr. Berg or another high-ranking traditionalist priest to the bishopric? Wouldn’t that do much more for rapproachment with traditionalists worldwide and even the SSXP rather than simply ordaining a supposed good and faithful and prudent servant, how i many ways, does not have the backing of many traditionalist clerics and laity?

    Just a thought. Not trying to take anything away from Msgr. Perl, and after all, it is just a rumor. But it just seems that commission, even if under the Congregation of Divine Worship, should have some truly traditional priests–ones who have been formed in traditional seminaryies and do not concelebrate.

  3. Ottaviani says:

    I still have my doubts about Mgsr. Pearl.

    I do not doubt that he is personally a good prelate but I do not think he “knows the Traditionalist world best”. Anyone who can remember the whole protocol 1411 debacle with the FSSP, would be able to testify to that. The in-organic changes adopted by the monks at Fomgobault in 2000, were also approved heartily by Mgsr. Pearl. Also his attitude to the Econe before the excommunications of 1988 was one of over-criticism, whereas the late Cardinal Gagnon praised the SSPX seminary for adhering to the traditional formation of priests.

    Mgsr. Pearl is still very much dedicated to the new mass and even admitted to an Una Voce conference some years ago, that he prefers it to the old mass. How can someone then “know the Traditionalist world” when they can’t even identify with why traditional Catholics love and prefer the traditional liturgy?

    Traditionalists also have to be honest with themselves. People like Mgsr. Pearl have no intention of leaving the traditional liturgy alone. If anything, since the Holy Father’s motu proprio, there have been more changes to the rubrics of the old mass. Rome also is currently of this position and hence the 1962 Good Friday prayer was also changed last year, when it is a well-known fact that the intercessions in the Good Friday liturgy of the Pauline rite are theologically bankrupt and ecumenically tainted. This whole process of “mutual enrichment” is only going one way. If PCED is integrated under the CDW, what will happen when a prelate, who holds Bugnini as his poster-boy hero, comes into power?

    It’s all very well under the present papacy but no one knows what deluge could await us next.

  4. Brian Mershon says:

    “how i many ways”

    should read

    “who in many ways”

  5. Franzjosf says:

    I have to agree with Mr. Mershon. While Msgr. Perl may be a friend to tradition, many of us wish for an actual traditionalist as head of ED. And I know it is not our decision. Personally, I’m hoping for the decree of excommunication to be lifted against the SSPX bishops soon.

  6. schoolman says:

    “This means, at any rate, that the Ecclesia Dei Commission is placed within the ecclesial landscape.”

    Poor choice of words to be sure, however, the message between the lines here seems to be that the PCED will now be positioned to have far greater reach and influence within the Church, Bishops conferences, etc. For that we have reason to hope. I am ready to trust the wisdom of the Holy Father whatever he decides in the matter. He has insights into things where I have little or no visibility.

  7. Dan says:

    I have to say that so far the rumors that have been going around. most have been ture and came to furition. Let’s hope this shall come true.

  8. ED says:

    I’d like to see some bishops from the Institute of Christ the King and the Fraternity of St. Peter, names such as Father John Berg and Father Josef Bisig

  9. RBrown says:

    The in-organic changes adopted by the monks at Fomgobault in 2000, were also approved heartily by Mgsr. Pearl.

    What were the changes adopted by Fontgombault in 2000?

  10. Without reference to Msgr. Perl, I wonder whether it’s not best for the TLM for it’s principal steward in the Vatican to be someone in the direct “line of command” (as in a Vatican dicastery to which bishops report on designated matters) — rather than somewhat off to the side like the PECD. And someone who is an undoubted advocate and supporter of the TLM with clout and standing in the Vatican, and cannot be pigeon-holed (and ignored) as being “merely a traditionalist”.

    Wouldn’t it be best — and more in keeping with Benedict’s program — for everyone in the Vatican responsible for liturical matters, to be wholeheartedly supportive both of the reform of the OF and the restoration of the EF?

    It seems to me that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has met these criteria, and that we might hope he be replaced by someone similar.

  11. Bro. AJK says:

    Dear Fr. Z.,

    Isn’t the Congregation for Religious Life (or whatever its formal title is) in charge of all orders of religious life, regardless of the form they use? If not, then that would be a logical place for those groups to be placed under.

  12. All: It’s PERL… not “Pearl”.

  13. EDG says:

    I spend a lot of time in Spain and follow certain Spanish religion blogs. People might be interested to know that Cdl Cañizares is considered to be quite firm and even somewhat combative in his approach to things. (I don’t know if this will hold up in Rome, of course.) While his attitude to the EF seems to be correct if not zealous, he was very supportive of the visigothic or mozarabic rite during his time in Toledo, one of the places that has the privilege of celebrating it. So he does have experience in maintaining another rite within the existing structure, and that certainly bodes well.

  14. RBrown says:

    All: It’s PERL… not “Pearl”.
    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    With gratitude to Flatt And Scruggs:

    CHORUS:
    Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, come let us see our girl
    Are you still our valentine? Do you still look so divine?
    Come and let us see our darlin’ Pearl

    Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, don’t give your love to Earl
    I have got a horse and mule, Forty acres near a school
    We’ll be happy as two bugs

    Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, come be my loving girl
    Don’t you marry Lester Flatt, He slicks his hair with possum fat
    Change your name to Mrs. Earl Scruggs

    Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, you’ll get no love from Earl
    This here man is such a sap, He won’t hold you on his lap
    Unless you are an old 5-string banjo

    Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, he’s nutty as a squirrel
    If you’ll be Mrs. Scruggs, We’ll live on kisses and hugs
    Like Juliet and Romeo.

  15. Carlos Palad says:

    “While his attitude to the EF seems to be correct if not zealous, he was very supportive of the visigothic or mozarabic rite during his time in Toledo, one of the places that has the privilege of celebrating it.”

    What the Cardinal supported was the REFORMED, 1990’s version of the Mozarabic Rite, not the one codified in the late 1400’s under Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros.

  16. Nick says:

    It seems to me that Ecclesia Dei would have more exposure and less opportunity to be tampered with as it now stands rather than being submerged in the Congregation for Divine Worship where prefects come and go as do patronages.

    On another note, this year there does not seem to have been a Papal mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Epiphany with the baptisms and possible Ad Orientem service. Was there any explanation for the change?

  17. B. says:

    Why is it that nowadays in Rome everybody had to become a bishop?
    A bishop should be a shepherd, i.e. the head of a diocese, not a bureaucrat.
    Under Pius XII even Cardinal Ottaviani was not a bishop. He was consecrated under (and by) John XXIII.

  18. Andrew says:

    I think this will be a very dangerous development if this actually occurs. With the PCED assimilated into the CDW, won’t that mean that incompetent secretaries and modernists will be looking after the few remnants of tradition in the Church??? Very dangerous indeed.

    Whatever happened to the Apostolic administrations for the EF that was rumoured a year or so ago?? We NEED those.

    I was at a Church today where the EF is offered right after the OF. I was unfortunate enough to get there early and I was there for most of the OF. What a disturbing contrast. Liturgical abuse left, right and centre…In the same Parish that has the Old Mass!

    I am sick of the whole sham that is the OF. It is awful. I pray that the Holy Father will just admit that the reforms were a complete failure and get us on the road to recovery. Starting with acknowledging that Rome has abandonned tradition and from now on will embrace it fully.

    Rome needs to apologise to us. They need to apologise to the SSPX too. Without the SSPX well, God only knows what state we would be in now.

  19. B.: Vatican dicasteries (its “departments”) have “ordinary” jurisdiction in their own spheres of competence. When I say “ordinary”, think of your local diocesan bishop, who is the chief “ordinary” of your diocese. As a result, the heads of these dicasteries must be able to must have the ability to exercise their jurisdiction. Also, they must be of a certain ecclesiastical grade to be able to deal with abbots, superiors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, around the world.

  20. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Two concerns:
    1.)To place PCED under Divine Worship might make the interaction vis-a-vis groups such as SSPX appear to be principally a liturgical one. There are dogmatic issues as well that are not necessarily concerned with the liturgy.

    2.)”…the heads of these dicasteries must be able to must have the ability to exercise their jurisdiction. Also, they must be of a certain ecclesiastical grade to be able to deal with abbots, superiors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, around the world.”

    I share B’s concerns about heads’ of dicasteries and (for me at least) cardinals’ having to be bishops, but as it’s tangential to the main question, I’ll leave it there for now.

  21. Bro. AJK: Isn’t the Congregation for Religious Life ….. then that would be a logical place for those groups to be placed under.

    Surely this is not about “groups” but about a form of the Roman liturgy. For the vast majority of EF Masses will be celebrated not by order priests but by diocesan priests under ordinary jurisdiction.

  22. Andrew: I was at a Church today where the EF is offered right after the OF.

    Isn’t this the best way — the two forms side by side for mutual support and perhaps a bit of healthy competition — for the “Marshall plan” to work?

    Rome needs to apologise to us.

    I’m not sure we’d agree on what this really means, but I wonder how the Church can really move ahead without forthrightness at the top about the decades of disastrous pastoral errors that have been made.

  23. B. says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf:
    B.: Vatican dicasteries (its “departments”) have “ordinary” jurisdiction in their own spheres of competence. When I say “ordinary”, think of your local diocesan bishop, who is the chief “ordinary” of your diocese. As a result, the heads of these dicasteries must be able to must have the ability to exercise their jurisdiction. Also, they must be of a certain ecclesiastical grade to be able to deal with abbots, superiors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, around the world.

    I disagree with this. The heads of dicasteries have their authority because they act on behalf of the pope, to whom this authority was given by Jesus Christ, not because they are bishops of long defunct dioceses who happen to live in Rome. [Go ahead and disagree.]

    Also, it doesn’t explain why e.g. Piero Marini or Stanislaw Dziwisz had to be made archbishops. That kind of makes the the bishopric to be something like an award, something I deem inappropriate to what the role of a bishop ought to be. [When you are Pope, you can organize things differently. Meanwhile, the Roman Pontiff has determined that this is the way things shall be.]

  24. B. says:

    I see no reason to be rude just because I disagree.
    BTW, I don’t think Pope Benedict will make his secretary or his MC a bishop.

  25. Andrew says:

    Henry,

    Indeed having the EF follow the OF may indeed be beneficial if offered by the same priest or by a priest of the same parish. The canonical situation at this particular church is such that virtually no contact is had between the Novus Ordo and Old Mass communities. In fact, it is actually a very touchy relationship.

    The new mass people and their ferral nuns are severely critical of every change we make (usually a a beautification of the church). They are furious if we don’t put back their portable altar/table and other furnishings exactly as we found them. We are essentially treated as second class citizens despite having triple their Mass count, not to mention that we actually try to follow the teaching of the church.

    The die-hard 60+ year old hippies that still go to the new mass aren’t going to give up their cooshy little life where they can all pretend they are priests in any hurry…regardless of how many old masses are said before or after theirs!

    What I mean by Rome apologising to us is this: I think that the Holy Father should apologise on behalf of his brother Bishops and his/their predecessors for the persecution (past and present) suffered by those attached to the old rite. Also, it would be nice for him to condemn and actually punish the numerous heretical bishops still out there and/or apologise sincerely on their behalf.

  26. RBrown says:

    I disagree with this. The heads of dicasteries have their authority because they act on behalf of the pope, to whom this authority was given by Jesus Christ, not because they are bishops of long defunct dioceses who happen to live in Rome. [Go ahead and disagree.]

    And the fact that they are directly under the authority of the pope is why they are archbishops.

    Also, it doesn’t explain why e.g. Piero Marini or Stanislaw Dziwisz had to be made archbishops.

    You’re right–the MC is usually not a bishop. IMHO, PMarini was made an archbishop because certain powers (e.g., the Sec of State) hoped he would become one of the two top men at Rites and Sacraments, and the liturgical deformation would continue.

    Papal secretaries often become bishops after their term of office ends. If a pope dies, there is no guarantee that his secretary will be consecrated. JPII decided to guarantee it for Msgr Dziwisz.


    That kind of makes the the bishopric to be something like an award, something I deem inappropriate to what the role of a bishop ought to be.
    Comment by B.

    Not really. See my explanation above.

  27. RBrown says:

    I see no reason to be rude just because I disagree. BTW, I don’t think Pope Benedict will make his secretary or his MC a bishop.
    Comment by B.

    I think both will eventually become bishops, but not in their present positions.