More about Msgr. Pozzo’s interview with Vatican Radio

NLM usefully posted some highlight of Msgr. Guido Pozzo’s interview with Vatican Radio, posted in VR’s German section.

After looking through the Italian text which I obtained, I can share a few other things in my fast translation.  I read German pretty well, but I translate Italian faster, and Italian was clearly the original language.

Pay close attention to his comments about resistance to the older form of Mass and how that resistance must be overcome.  It must be overcome, of course, because it is wrong.

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Q: The Pope asked for “charity and pastoral prudence” for traditionalist faithful.  Now, at the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, you are a kind of fire department for cases in which don’t go that way. Where do you find resistance?  What what motivations?

The expression “vigilare” translates Greek “episcopein”.  Vigilance is the primary competence of the bishop.  In this sense the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” exercises the office of observation and vigilance over the application of the Motu Proprio. There still now exist certainly some prejudices and resistance against the Mass in the antiquior rite, either from ideological motives or in part because the request for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is considered an expression of contrast and opposition to the liturgical reform desired by the Second Vatican council.  It is clearly necessary to overcome and challenge these still widespread prejudices and to recover, above all, the unity of the history of the liturgy, the unity of the lex orandi as an expression of the unity of the lex credendi, even in the specificity of the liturgical forms of the one Roman Rite.

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Q: A clarification: Which objections move a parish priest/pastor or bishop who has no respect for the old Mass to refuse requests?

There are prelates who above all see the risk of a nostalgia or an aesthetic sort, purely ornamental, formalistic, in the request for the old rite.  This, however – I don’t want to exclude that in some cases this can also be true – indicates, in just a general way, a kind of bias.  Because the antiquior rite has on the other hand a profound richness that must be non only respected, but rediscovered from the vantage point precisely of the liturgy as it is also celebrated today.  And so these biases, these oppositions, have to be overcome through a change of a forma mentis.  A more adequate liturgical formation is needed.

[...]

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The Motu Proprio does not speak of the formation of priests who want to learn the say the Mass according to the old books.  According to some this is a lacuna (gap), inasmuch as it requires not a little training to celebrate the old liturgy.  To this point, what can you advise to priests who are interested?

Certainly the problem of the priest who is suited (idoneo) for the celebration of the previous Rite is of great importance and urgency.  I must say that often the motive for which individual Ordinaries have problems in responding favorable to the request of a stable group of faithful to assist at Mass in the antiquior rite is precisely the lack of priests suited to its celebration.  It is necessary, therefore, that the faithful making the request, have come understanding and great patience.  I am of the opinion that in seminaries there should be offered to seminarians the possibility of learning adequately to cerebrate also the Extraordinary Form.  I am not speaking of an obligation, but of the possibility.  Where it is possible, one could make use for this preparation of priests of religious institutes which are under the jurisdiction of Ecclesia Dei and which follow the traditional liturgical discipline.  However, what seems to be essential is liturgical and theological formation for which it is necessary to reject radically the idea that there exists a pre-Conciliar liturgy in opposition to a post-Conciliar liturgy.  There is a growth and deepening in the history of the faith and of the Church’s liturgy, but also in continuity and in substantial unity, that cannnot and must never be lost or diminished. This is the line, the plan that must be follow also in view of a better preparation of clergy.

[...]

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Will the Holy Father one day celebrate a great Mass in the Extraordinary Form?

I think you are asking the the wrong person!

[...]

There is more, and in time to come I may get to that as well.

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7 Responses to More about Msgr. Pozzo’s interview with Vatican Radio

  1. Giambattista says:

    Msgr. Pozzo said: ” There still now exist certainly some prejudices and resistance against the Mass in the antiquior rite, either from ideological motives or in part because the request for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is considered an expression of contrast and opposition to the liturgical reform desired by the Second Vatican council. ”

    Of course it is “considered an expression of contrast and opposition”! It wasn’t the laity who pitted one liturgy against the other, it was the hierarchy. The TLM may have never been formally prohibited, but the practical effect was that the NO replaced the TLM. A situation of dualism was created.

    I agree with Msgr. Pozzo that ” It is clearly necessary to overcome and challenge these still widespread prejudices”. However, how is this going to be accomplished? The laity have been challenging it for 40+ years (and will continue to do so). What else can the laity do? It seems to me the challenging must be done by the hierarchy itself. The bishops need to do some serious self-reflection. The pope has already asked them do this and they continue to ignore him. What else can be done?

    In my opinion, things are going to get exponentially worse if the bishops don’t knock off the suppression of SP. Anybody with an interest in the TLM knows that it is now legal for a priest to decide on his own initiative to use the 1962 Missal. As the bishops continue to obstruct SP, the laity are going form logic along the lines of “how can a bishop expect us to be obedient when he openly dissents against the pope/SP?” is going to emerge and as a consequence the construction of independent chapels, a mass exodus to the SSPX and etc. will ensue. The bishops have to give up the idea they can control the expansion of the 1962 missal. Those days are over. They had their chance to do this from 1988 until 2007 and blew it.

    Msgr. Pozzo has identified what needs to be done. I just don’t see HOW it is going to be done. It seems that there is a state of anarchy in the Church which makes it impossible to govern.

    I did see the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius were at the USCCB meeting. Maybe this will soften some hearts!?!?
    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2010/12/usccb-meets-sancta-missa.html

  2. kgurries says:

    All good points. The other factor that can perhaps help “soften hearts” with respect to the TLM is the example of charity. The Bishops will take note and say to themselves: “…see how they love one another!”

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    Giambattista: I did see the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius were at the USCCB meeting.

    From the report you link:

    “As Bishops and priests begin to master the external ceremonies of the Mass [the TLM] with accuracy, the Canons Regular wish to help them further discover the rich treasury of grace, which lies within those ceremonies like blood coursing through our veins. Once the clergy have embraced ‘the most beautiful thing this side of heaven’ with both their intellects and spirits, then they will be able to pass on this knowledge and love to the laity who await to be transformed by its inestimable beauty, so that they might pray the Mass with greater attention, devotion and fervor.”

    Food for thought for a bishop wanting to revitalize his diocese?

  4. a humble convert says:

    The objections of some Bishops are ideological, and they will therefore use every means to obstruct the wishes of the Holy Father. There is talk of some openly boasting about how old and frail he looks-which he doesnt-and that the state of permanent revolution in the Liturgybegun in the bad era of the 1960′s can therefore be resumed before too long. But the wind is blowing strongly against such men-they know it and are therefore becoming quite desperate.

  5. TJerome says:

    the “ideological bishops” i.e., doubleknit dinosaurs, are retiring pretty quickly, so this is pretty much a short-term problem now.

  6. Cavaliere says:

    The “ideological bishops” i.e., doubleknit dinosaurs, are retiring pretty quickly, so this is pretty much a short-term problem now.

    Unfortunately this is not necessarily true. There are a number of otherwise orthodox Bishops who faithfully defend the teachings of the Church yet treat those who prefer the traditional forms of the liturgy and sacraments with . . . well let’s just say they aren’t as generous as the Pope asked them to be.

  7. Sieber says:

    Heaven forfend that an Ordinary should place upon a seminarian an obligation to learn the extraordinary form.