I have been having an internet nightmare for a few days, so I am pretty sure someone may have picked up on this already.
I have had many discussions with priest friends about the flexibility with the provisions of Summorum Pontificum so that priests are able to make the best pastoral applications within their own contexts.
For example, I have had good discussions with the great Fr. Tim Finigan about whether priests could, on their own initiative – that is, without requests from a group – add a TLM to the existing schedule or substitute a Novus Ordo Mass with a TLM. We both agreed that, yes, Summorum Pontificum allows for such a thing, though that is not spelled out in the document itself.
Yah, I know. But keep reading.
Now comes this from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. The Commission’s Secretary, Msgr. Pozzo, replied to a letter sent from a priest in Poland about similar questions.
A kid reader did some transcription for us from the Polish site Nowy Ruch Liturgiczny, and another sent some images of the letters in question.
Let’s have a look with my usual emphases and comments.
Rev. Krzysztof Tyburowski
(Moderatore Diocesano dei Fedeli
Lefati alla Forma Straordinaria della Liturgia)
[postal address left out]
Pontificia Commissione "Ecclesia Dei"
[postal address left out]
Laudetur Iesus Christus!
On behalf of many faithful in Poland, I would ask the Pontifical
Commission "Ecclesia Dei" for an answer to some important questions.
The questions relate to the celebration of the Holy Mass in the
extraordinary rite, and with no small difficulties that arise in this
context again and again.
1. In the case whe there is no other option, i.e. when no church is
available specifically for the extraordinary form, is it allowed to
celebrate the Holy Week Liturgy also (additionally) in the
extraordinary form, in a church (parish church or a rectorate), in
which the Triduum sacrum is usually celebrated in the ordinary form?
The difficulty relates specifically to the situation that in many
places the Holy Week liturgy is celebrated practically in all churches
in the new form. Is such celebration an obstacle for celebrating the
liturgy in the extraordinary form? [The problem is that normally you should only have the Triduum ceremonies once. An exception could be, I believe, an additional Good Friday service for pastoral reasons. If you can have the Triduum only once, then in theory you could not have both Ordinary and Extraordinary Form.]
2. Can the holy Mass in the extraordinary form be scheduled for the
hour when until now holy Mass was celebrated in the ordinary form? The
question concerns a situation when Sunday Masses in the new form are
celerated non-stop until the afternoon. To meet the needs of the
faithful who ask for the celebration in the extraordinary form, one
has to schedule it on liturgicaly unassigned hours of the afternoon (1
to 3 PM), which presents a significant additional logistical burden
for the staff (sacristan and the like), and is difficult to make
compatible with the normal rhythm of a Christian Sundays, especially
for families. [In other words, can you change one of the regularly scheduled Novus Ordo Masses to a TLM.]
3. Can a pastor or another priest celebrate publicly of his own accord
the extraordinary form – apart from the usual regular use of the new
form – "so that all faithful – both young and old – become familiar
with the older rite and can benefit from its appreciable beauty and
transcendence"? [That is the key: "on his own accord"... without a group having asked. This is very important.]
4. Is it permissible to use calendar, readings or prefaces from the
Roman Missal of 1970 for a holy Mass in the extraordinary form instead
of the corresponding texts of the Roman Missal of 1962? [I believe this was raised at other times. I have in the past given a hesitant yes. We shall see.]
5. Can an ordinary lay person, during a holy Mass in the extraordinary
form, recite the readings in the vernacular, after the priest (who
also comands that language) has read the texts in Latin?
Thank you in advance for the effort of consideration and answering the
Connected in Christ
x. Krzysztof Tyburowski
PCED answers: [My translation, without the usual florid curial embellishments.]
Dal Vaticano, 20 gennaio 2010
From the Vatican 20 January 2010
Prot. N. 13/2007
Most Reverend Father,
With your letter of 5 January, last, you posed some questions to this Pontifical Commission concerning the application of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", to which I respond as follows:
ad 1: Celebration also in the Extraordinary Form is possible according to the judgment of the Ordinary of the place. [While this isn't freedom to make the decision at the parish level, now no bishop or other authority can say that Summorum Pontificum forbids the Triduum with the 1962MR even where the Ordinary Form is also observed. That is important. It is possible to have both.]
ad 2 and ad 3: The question is remanded to the prudent judgment of the parish priest [pastor, parochus] it being understood that the stable group of faithful have the right to assist at the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form. [This is very significant. YES, a parish priest can change one of the Novus Ordo Masses to a TLM. He doesn't have to add one. Why? Because people have the right to have also the Extraordinary Form. Moreover, the priest can decide to have a TLM even if there are not requests from the faithful because he thinks it is in the best interest to have one available. The flip side is that the parish priest must also be sure that there is a Novus Ordo Mass remaining on the schedule, because people also have a right to attend Mass that way.]
ad 4: negative. [Okay! This surprises me a bit. It seems to walk back the famous guidelines we wrote when Card. Mayer was President of the PCED lo those many years ago. So, you cannot mix calendars or use readings, prefaces, etc. Interesting.]
ad 5: The readings of the Epistle and Gospel of the Mass must be read by the same priest celebrant, or by a deacon, in the cases foreseen by the liturgy; after their reading, however, the translations can be read by a layman. [What this does not resolve is whether the priest or deacon can read or sing the readings in the vernacular without having first done this in Latin. But that was not the question posed to the Commission.]
To #4: I would want to raise the following question.
Since saints such as St. Maximilian Kolbe was canonized after the implementation of the Novus Ordo.
On 14 August would you be able to say, using the 1962MR, a Mass for St. Maximillian Kolbe using just the Common for Martyrs? Would you be able to use the Common for Martyrs with the Latin Collect approved by the Congregation?
This is something which needs clarification.