A Papal Nuncius with sharp words about bishops who resist Summorum Pontificum.

Yesterday we saw with the help of Rorate and Messa in Latino that an Italian bishop had some things to say about other bishops who resist Pope Benedict’s visions and provisions.

Today, our friends at NLM clue us in about the remarks of a Papal Nuncius concerning bishops and others who resist Summorum Pontificum.

My emphases and comments:

In his homily for last Sunday, January 30, 2011, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles Islands, H.E. Most Rev. Thomas E. Gullickson [WDTPRS has written about the Archbishop before HERE.  He is an American, a priest of Sioux Falls.], Titular Archbishop of Bomarzo, had some pointed remarks about bishops resisting the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum:

Why, even three years after the issuance of Summorum Pontificum (just to name one example), are well-meaning lay folk still treated with such great disdain by no less than bishops, bishops in communion (of heart, soul, mind and strength?) with the Successor of St. Peter when they ask for Mass in Latin? Is this anything other than blind hypocrisy (the plank!)? [This is great... this should qualify him for instant promotion....] You tolerate no small amount of bad taste, bad music and caprice, while begrudging some few a port in the storm of liturgical abuse which seems not to want to subside? [And that "few" is slowly growing larger.] Can we be after His own Heart and not just claim to be members of Christ’s Body while still acting so at odds with the example set by the Holy One of God, meek and humble of heart? Such prelates are at counter or cross purposes to the sense in which the Church wants to go; they are ignoring what the Spirit is saying to the Churches and doing so with a backhand to some who are branded common and contemptible, but certainly not in the eyes of Christ… Let me say it more clearly! My issue is with the contempt shown for an outstretched hand, contempt such as would not be shown toward someone asking for some other benefit.

When the Holy Father speaks of his will to see these two forms of the Roman Rite (ordinary and extraordinary) enrich each other, when he and others express eagerness for a recovery of the sense of the sacred in our churches and in how we worship, I am convinced that he has indicated the true nature of the rupture which has indeed occurred and needs to be mended or healed. You would think that those in communion with the Pope would seek to understand him and embrace his point of view. There is too much room for caprice and hence the need to reform contemporary Catholic worship. This is evidenced time and again, by way of one example, in the sense of helplessness many priests experience when confronted by musical groups moving into church with inappropriate repertoires, not to mention the dance and puppet troupes which should have been banished long ago. If a bishop does not want to discipline at least he can respect and foster those seeking good order. [This underscores how Summorum Pontificum was a huge gift to priests.  It was the first document in a long time that actually did something concrete to help priests.]
Archbishop Gullickson has spoken out repeatedly about both the usus antiquior and the reform of the reform; have a look at his thoughts here.

He also implements these thoughts practically: In 2009, he began to exclusively celebrate Holy Mass ad orientem in the chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. See his detailed explanation here.

WDTPRS KUDOS to Archbp. Gullickson.

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23 Responses to A Papal Nuncius with sharp words about bishops who resist Summorum Pontificum.

  1. Childermass says:

    Get this man a see!

    Another choice excerpt from this great homily:

    “Apart from this intolerance, I’ve been confronted again and again recently with the reality of how oblivious many priests, religious and laity are to the de-sacralized character of their liturgizing. Jeff Tucker at “The Chant Café” is swarming about all he sees as progress toward the reform of the reform. I wish I could see what he sees. The promotion of the extraordinary form is an encouragement to reforming vernacular liturgy. The hunger of many of the laity for a reformed vernacular liturgy marked by noble simplicity has been and continues to be fostered by encounters with the extraordinary form. My guess is that a more positive attitude by more bishops toward the extraordinary form would go a long way to moving some of the priests toward an examination of conscience concerning their approach to celebration.

    Why do some successors to the Apostles seem so unaware of the injustice of the double standard they apply in reacting negatively to requests for Mass in the extraordinary form? If they are unwilling to restore decorum to vernacular worship “cold turkey” for lack of courage or whatever, then the least they could do is recognize and support those among them who seek better.”

  2. PghCath says:

    This man seems fit for a big job in the American hierarchy. If he ever returns to the States from island paradise, perhaps he could start in Erie or Rochester.

    Gotta love a plain-speaking bishop!

  3. Childermass says:

    Would that more like this refreshing Archbishop take their brother prelates out to the woodshed! It is so needed; it’s simply *grotesque* for a Successor of the Apostles to suppress and persecute the ages-old liturgy of the Church, entirely good and praiseworthy, while at the same time allowing and sometimes even encouraging all kinds of liturgical abuses and sacrileges against our Lord at Masses in their dioceses.

    It’s such a scandalous thing that it makes one question those particular bishops’ communion with the Church.

    It’s gotten so bad that we are happy and satisfied with bishops like HE Cardinal George of Chicago, who allow both traditional sacred liturgy and crazy desacralizing shenanigans at parishes under his care. We are *happy* when a bishop is not persecuting the good while still encouraging the bad.

    Brick by brick I guess. God bless Archbishop Gullickson for publicly calling his prelatial brethren to a higher standard.

  4. becket1 says:

    I can almost guarantee you that his beautiful words of wisdom will fall on deaf ears. All talk but no action!!. And it could be that in these Bishops heart they are not in communion with the Pope, so they don’t give a hoot about Summorum Pontificum and those that care for tradition!. But Rome doesn’t do enough. When is the Pope going to offer a public Extraordinary Form of the Mass for the world to see. When??. Or is he afraid of offending these very Bishops who oppose the EF Mass. And let them go on stripping their flock of the beauty of Roman Catholic tradition, and convincing them that no one wants it. How long!!?.

  5. benedetta says:

    I regret that for many years, having been schooled in the prevailing doctrine, I accepted the playbook which dictates hatred (? I don’t think, looking back that it is too strong a word), scapegoating of proponents of the EF. I even concurred with the sentiments which work, in a sort of reactionary way, constantly to either attack or undermine or merely ignore the leadership and example set for us by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, dismiss, diminish, marginalize, mock. I was a part of that and betrayed the wisdom and protection that comes from their service to the Church, the goodness of their very words. In an experience as old as Christianity itself, I was turned around by the kindness, spirituality, and humility shown to me by the very people I once would have persecuted. And not just the fact of the stereotyping becomes evident but the reality of the active lie itself.

    Thus embraced by the other and yet also scandalized to discover the goodness of these people, I came to contemplate all that has gone on and still goes on.

    In hearing the simplicity and affirmation of the teachings of JPII and Pope Benedict anew, and recognizing that these leaders continually emphasized social justice doctrines in their fulness, it was difficult to reconcile the apparent treatment by clergy, religious, lay leaders and even Bishop toward a group of fellow believers. I was scandalized in that I could not see the disregard for these believers as a Christian thing to do, much less as encouraging unity.

    I can only believe now that, convinced of their own righteousness in the idea that people who accept the teachings of the Popes (even through struggle) at eventual face-value are somehow enemies of the faith, that it is a convenient scapegoat, a unifier itself around some perceived enemy whilst the true enemy ranges freely about, preying upon disunity and lack of shepherds. It convinces of its own utility and necessity.

    The gestalt is to get away with as much as possible…the rugby analogy is most appropriate, of the one running with the ball as hard and fast as possible to evade tackling. Time after time, the tackle is provoked but never comes. And that is because our Church’s leaders are not the demons they are made out to be. They are not interested in retribution so whatever the aggression, the harm ultimately is done only to the body of Christ in the Church, the harm is registered in the faith of the people who are on the side of those who are running with the ball as well as the ones who aren’t permitted to even play.

    And what is happening now is that the circle around those who promote Latin has been extended to include, just about anyone who takes the teachings of Popes somewhat seriously, just about anyone who has the audacity of hope to receive communion on the tongue, let alone while kneeling or wearing a chapel veil. Anyone who asks for a little bit of silence, a greater reverence, the belief and teaching of the Real Presence, to be truly and unequivocally pro-life.

    But you know what. I’ll join in solidarity with those who would like merely to pray in this way. Because I have discovered, that, they have been falsely accused. By and large, the ones who wish to pray this way are people who tend to make great sacrifices for Church, society, those in need, and children. They practice their faith without fanfare, in relative silence, without recognition, by anyone, without commendation, without resources or great monetary means. They are often the poorest who look after the littlest among us with no thanks or support from leaders and endure ridicule and marginalization. How did we get to this point? The chasm between believers has been widened and I blame our leaders for encouraging it, tacitly or actively.

    And yet, “…the rich He has sent away empty”.

  6. The Pope’s not “afraid” of “offending” bishops. He’s trying to move everybody toward orthodox practice, without panicking any more bishops into open schism. It’s like the opposite of playing chicken — it’s moving the sheep without letting them notice how far they’ve moving, until they’ve come back to the middle of the road. It’s his best attempt to save all the flock and leave none behind, and so it’s an excruciating process.

    I would never be able to be this patient with people. This is why God didn’t make me pope. :)

  7. It feels good to read this. It shows that things are coming to its right place, even if there are just few in the good way! I think this shows the day ending and the sheep coming back to the fold. The time of abuse is ending, a new morning is dawning. Let’s have hope. With this Pope, everything is possible.
    As a portuguese poem says:
    ‘because all the courage is needed
    all hope is legitimate.’
    (Joaquim Pessoa)

  8. robtbrown says:

    PghCath says:

    This man seems fit for a big job in the American hierarchy. If he ever returns to the States from island paradise, perhaps he could start in Erie or Rochester.

    He’s an ARCHbishop. Neither Erie nor Rochester is an ARCHdiocese. It would be an insult to send him there.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Thanks for this encouraging post. The problem is not merely with the bishops, although that would be a start. In the recent past, I was confronted with the stubbornness and recalcitrance of Abbots from at least two monasteries, who are totally against the EF. These Abbots are under Bishops, of course, but for historical reasons, and I am afraid, utilitarianism as they provide as many as all the parishes in two deaneries with their priest-monks, they are allowed the freedom not to allow the EF. In at least one case, the monastery and parishes pre-date the organized diocese. When approaching the Bishop’s office in one of these cases, I was told bluntly, that the Bishop had a hands-off attitude, as he needed the monks and the Abbott would pull them out of the parishes if the EF was insisted upon. Also, in the seminaries, Rectors, Presidents, whoever, do not encourage and in some cases, as in monastery seminaries where bishops send their young men, discourage the EF. Someone in the chancery told me that if the EF was encouraged at one of these seminaries, one Bishop who sends his young men would pull them out a.s.a.p. Money and numbers…. Even in the good Cardinal George’s own seminary at Mundelein, not a monastery diocesan seminary, EF is not offered at a regular basis and trad young men hid their preference for the EF, for fear of being kicked out.

    When I personally approached the President of one of these seminaries, I was told that the EF was “Extraordinary” and therefore, as it was not the norm, not to be taught, and only allowed twice a year to the young men at 7:00 on a Saturday morning. Three of the monks told me as long as the present Abbott was in power, there would be absolutely no encouraging of the EF.

  10. Brad says:

    Our Lady of Akita:

    “The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests
    The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. ”

    June, 1988—Vatican City—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gives definitive judgment on the Akita events and messages as reliable and worthy of belief.

  11. >Childermass says:
    1 February 2011 at 9:24 am
    Get this man a see!<

    how about replacing our current Nuncio???

    I don't understand how Archbishop Sambi could so publicly and proudly give John Kerry Communion, in the hand -naturally, during the D. C. papal Mass! To me it's a case of being slapped on both cheeks by the Pope's own point man! [my pro-life cheek and my wdtprs cheek]

    I'm out of cheeks! well if you want to be technical……

    People like Archbp. P. S. are our ticket to heaven!

  12. Animadversor says:

    robtbrown thusly:

    He’s an ARCHbishop. Neither Erie nor Rochester is an ARCHdiocese. It would be an insult to send him there.

    I am not so sure. There are some large and important dioceses which one might expect to be archdioceses, yet, because of special circumstances, they have not that status, e.g., Brooklyn. Would it really be an insult to translate a titular archbishop to a very important diocese that has not archidiocesan status? In any case, he could be made an archbishop ad personam.

  13. >>doing so with a backhand to some who are branded common and contemptible, but certainly not in the eyes of Christ… Let me say it more clearly! My issue is with the contempt shown for an outstretched hand, contempt such as would not be shown toward someone asking for some other benefit.<<

    Archbishop G. is speaking of prelates but what of laity? The Holy Father's Motu Propio was a direct appeal to laity. The initiative must come from us! The same is true of his humble example of distributing Communion only to the kneeling.

    We laity are just as guilty as rebellious prelates when we knowingly ignore the pope's outstretched hand and use the excuse that we need a fiat from on high to 'make' us kneel. From watching EWTN and hearing about the March for Life mass -put on by Cardinal Wuerl, it looks to me like conservative Catholicism sees the pope's reverence initiatives as 'take it or leave it'. Mostly 'leave it.'

  14. Supertradmum says:

    The Bishop over EWTN and the nuns told them not to broadcast the EF, which the nuns have everyday, but a separate NO Mass. Again, it was the decision of the Bishop.

  15. SupertradM>The Bishop over EWTN and the nuns told them not to broadcast the EF<<
    …..because……..it might be controversial to be seen as taking the Holy Father's side against the American Catholic people-who-run-things?

    ntl my frustration is with what I see at the NO….. very few people kneeling for Jesus. I used to do the genuflect 'jack in the box' myself until I read the article by Bishop Schneider. My wife, who is quite blunt, has pointed out that we genuflect to the person's posterior in front of us, but stand for our Lord!

  16. Pete says:

    So the Papal Nuncius confirms what I wrote on a previous thread. In practice the priest requires permission from his Bishop to celebrate the Latin Mass in public.

    In the US the Secretariat for the Liturgy wrote “The Diocesan Bishop may grant permission to priests or groups of the faithful at his discretion”. A priest will not disobey his Bishop. I know of no priest publicly celebrating the Latin Mass against an order from his Bishop. Does anyone?

  17. Tony from Oz says:

    Pete: and as I remarked in response to your post on that previous thread, yes, there is a dysjunction between what the law requires and what, in reality, amounts to a false sense of human respect and worldly fear dressed up as ‘obedience’ – an erroneous and false obedience; for how can one be disobedient in following the directives of the Supreme Legislator?

    The gutlessness of priests unwilling even to risk a ‘white martyrdom’! I mean golly – what’s a bishop gonna do other than send him to some run-down parish? An opportunity to build up the church amongst the most needy/spiritually and materially impoverished, perhaps – but…nah…too risky to a clerical career. Thank goodness there is a precedent in the cowardice of St Peter in denying Christ, eh? I think it helps to ponder that in the present situation, I guess.

    Our Lady Queen of Priests, pray for them that they be granted courage to implement the will of the Holy Father.

  18. Pete—-A priest will not disobey his Bishop.—–

    Hey Pete!

    Your statement comes accross as unequivocal. I am told that in the military, it is the duty of a subordinate to disobey an illegal or immoral order. Does that not hold for the Church militant? Certainly many American bishops coopted underlings in covering up sexual abuse. Maybe some priests think ‘I was only following orders’ will hold water on the final day.

    The laity (and priests who have the courage) need to question rebellious bishops:
    “If your Excellency won’t obey the Pope, then why should we obey you?”

  19. Pete says:

    Tony: the law does not explicitly state that a priest may publicly celebrate the Latin Mass without the approval of his bishop. For example, one could argue that the determining of what constitutes a “stable group of faithful” is the “Pastor … under the guidance of the bishop”. The Bishop has the last word.

    Further there are a number of bishop who think like Bp Moran “Like all priests of the Church they are at liberty to celebrate the forma extraordinaria privately without specific permission, and to have some people with them when they do, but for public celebration the local bishop’s permission is needed.” The quote I gave from US the Secretariat for the Liturgy is of the same order. This is how they read SP and put it into practice.

    And I doubt that any priest celebrating the EF did not go to their bishop and ask for their permission.

    So there you have it: “de facto” and “de jure”. But we all know “de facto” and “de jure” are a part of the way of life in traditionalist circles: the Latin Mass was never abrogated, but in practice it was, ask anyone who searched for it during the 70s & 80s.

    But if you start down the road of accepting a difference between “de facto” and “de jure” then what out Bp. fellay’s comment on the status of the SSPX? Noone (including Fr. Z) was able to contradict Bp Fellay’ s comments in the remnant (“Actions Speak Louder than Words”) about the “de facto” status of SSPX.

    Kneeling Catholic: This is in the context of a priest wishing to celebrate the Latin Mass.

    But I will give another example. A while back during the bird flu scare one Bishop (can’t remember who, in Canada I think) forbade receiving on the tongue. There was a stand off with the FSSP. But would the FSSP priest(s) go against the order of his Bishop? No! they decide not to distribute communion to any of the faithful instead. You see, even though it was the faithful’s right to receive on the tongue, the FSSP priest did not dare go against the order of his Bishop.

  20. PghCath says:

    Robt, This discussion is probably academic anyway, as past practice suggests that most church diplomats die or retire as diplomats. I would be perfectly happy if Archbishop Gullickson is appointed to Chicago or Philadelphia. That said, it’s not an insult if the Pope asks you to go. While unusual, there is precedent for a bishop being sent from an archdiocese to a diocese. One example is Mario Milano of the Italian diocese of Aversa, who retired on Jan. 15, 2011. Moreover, there’s always an option of giving a bishop the personal title of Archbishop; in fact, the bishop of Erie in the 50s, John Glannon, was given such a title.

  21. pop says:

    Childermass says:

    “Get this man a see!”
    You bring up a good question. Why do we ordain a bishop when he has no church to shepherd in the first place? Is this a title bestowed upon someone “promoted” to a position at the Vatican!

  22. pop says:

    kneeling-catholic says in part
    “Communion, in the hand -naturally,”

    Obviously, it would seem you do believe what that most ancient text the Didache” has to say about receiving communion!

    The biggest problem I have with those who desire mass in the extraordinary form is and generally speaking….. the distain shown for the teachings of Vatican II.
    Before undertaking a criticism of the teachings of Vatican II, one would do well to journey back in time beyond Trent. A returning to the sources if you will, will bring clarity to the matter. There are accounts of the celebrations of the early of voices lifting to the sky.

    Eucharist is a sacrificial celebration involving an active participation…… a holy and a living sacrifice of JOY. Just as the cross is a symbol of victory, so too Eucharist should be joy filled.

    If we are not careful, we can fall into a state consisting of a false reverence. Certainly Eucharist is a solemn occasion which demands our complete attention, gratitude, and as far as I am concerned our participation. It is a communal celebration because it is God calling people to worship, and our response to that call so that we may be nourished in Word and Sacrament.

    There is a danger that one may fall into a private and somewhat mystical experience while attending instead of participating in mass celebrated in the extraordinary form. That reality manifests itself simply because so many simply have no working knowledge/understanding of Latin.

    One may want to ask how and why Latin became the language of the church in the first place! Fewer and fewer individuals spoke Greek. There was an understanding of the NEED to celebrate in the vernacular.

    Having said that, I think it is totally appropriate for any bishop to have a legitimate concern that mass involves full participation of the faithful.

    How many people are there who are willing to undertake the study of Latin so that they may fully participate in the mass of Trent! Without that understanding of Latin, there is a real danger that mass will be somewhat of a superstitious & magical event. ( I do not use that terminology to bring discredit upon Eucharist. Rather I use it to emphasize a point)