News from an Italian source about the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum

There is a good deal of hand-wringing going on right now about the possibility that the upcoming “Instruction” about Summorum Pontificum will water-down the provisions which the Supreme Pontiff made the law of the Latin Church.

About this Instruction, I gave an initial comment here.

Such an Instruction has been expected, like Godot, for a long time.  I long ago stopped hoping for it.  I actively stopped hoping for it, as a matter of fact.

But it is coming and many people, in anticipation of its arrival, are chewing their own skulls in anxiety.

I can understand why people would be upset at the reports about the Instruction.  So many who mourned the loss of the older forms of worship have been mistreated by the Church’s shepherds.  Many who knew the older forms back when, and younger people who prefer them now, are still being treated like second-class trash who get to sit in the back of the bus.  And there only grudgingly.   You can understand why they would be anxious about this Instruction, given how many positions of power are still in the hands of enemies of the Holy Father’s vision and provisions.

Now we see this.

Paolo Rodari writes on Palazzo Apostolico with my emphases and comments in my rapid translation.

They are writing here, here and here that in the Vatican they are trying to water-down the implementing decree ["Instruction"] of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

In substance, according to the blogs mentioned above, the decree instead of giving a greater impetus to the Motu Proprio, explaining to bishops how to implement it in a better way, would say that the old liturgy is a concession made only to “traditionalists”, in recognition of their particular ‘sensibility”.  The blogs still write that the fabricators of this watering-down are Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Maltese promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Antonio Card. Canizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

I personally made the necessary verifications and I can say that, according to sources inside the Vatican, the news items given here above, “are completely without foundation”The implementing decree will not water-down anything and neither Scicluna nor Canizares are working in that sense.

The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, which today is presided over by the Prefect for Doctrine of the Faith William Joseph Card. Levada, already has the text of the decree ready, [I have the sense that someone has told the writer something along the lines of "Get this out there so that the trouble-makers will stop making a fuss!"] is waiting for the difficult work of the translations to finish, and counts on publishing it all (if the translations aren’t subject to delays) before Easter.

Take that for what it is worth.  Rodari doesn’t offer anything that can be verified either.

We don’t know what the text will say.  Most of the people who are talking about the text to me in private – most, not all – don’t know what is in the text.

Given that we don’t know many of the actual details of the text, I can only recommend that people who are deeply concern get on their knees and pray that Pope Benedict be strengthened in his mandate as Vicar of Christ and that his enemies – far from him and close to him – be weakened and confounded.

Do what a committed Catholic warrior would do for a cause that is dear.

I have started a month long “novena”, a Spiritual Bouquet for Pope Benedict to end on 19 March, which is the Holy Father’s “name day”, the Feast of St. Joseph.

Please participate in this Spiritual Bouquet.

In the meantime, drink some Mystic Monk coffee and, if you want to sign something, go to this site and put your signature to a kind of open-letter or petition.

Also, in the next days and weeks consider that the Holy Father is unlikely to put his signature to something which would so undermine his position and authority.

Finally, I will ask the readers for some help with something.

We could use an up-to-date list of the members (not the workers) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the members (not workers) of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.  We need to know who has been involved in this and who may also need prayers.  It would be nice to get this before the 2011 Annuario Pontificio is released.   Please don’t waste our time with “This guy used to be the list” or “I think he is a member” or even worse “I think X should be on it!”  We need facts, not old news or guesses.  If you don’t know, don’t write about it.

And now…

From the the Enchiridion of Indulgences, #25:

A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a spirit of filial devotion, devoutly recite any duly approved prayer for the Supreme Pontiff (e.g., the Oremus pro Pontifice):

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Our Father.  Hail Mary.

Let us pray.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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19 Responses to News from an Italian source about the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum

  1. AnnAsher says:

    “younger people who prefer them now, are still being treated like second-class trash who get to sit in the back of the bus.  And there only grudgingly” exactly! And so it is where I go to Mass – one Diocese over- last week we were pushed to 7pm Sunday yet again. Why? Well the Bishop wanted to have an anniversary/marriage ditty at the normal time for TLM. Yet there were still Three n.o. Masses – uninterrupted – plus the ditty Mass. It boggles the mind.

  2. PghCath says:

    God bless this Pope, who knows what he is doing.

  3. kolbe1019 says:

    “…given how many positions of power are still in the hands of enemies of the Holy Father’s vision and provisions.”

    “This kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.” Matt 17:20

  4. Maltese says:

    “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer.” Sun Tzu.

    I’m sure Benedict XVI is keeping some of his Cardinals close on this. He’s no dummie. Michael Davies–the great Crusader of all-things Traditional–was quoted as saying, “he [then Cardinal Ratzinger] is on our side.” In fact, after Davies’ death, Cardinal Ratzinger lamented his death.

    Breath, breath, like Fr. Z says. I truly think BXVI is working for Tradition the best he can amongst a pack of wolves encircling him… [Keep in mind that sometimes the wolves get a chunk out of you. Sometimes they win.]

  5. TNCath says:

    Given the fact that the Instruction was supposed to be a response to any misinterpretations and misapplications of the Motu Proprio, why in the world would it be a “watering down”? Conversely, I would think it would clarify the Holy Father’s support for and encouragement of the Extraordinary Form. Of course, like anything good, this will come at a heavy price, for it will give the Holy Father’s critics and detractors something to crow about. If it comes out before Easter, this will likely be the Pope’s springtime persecution by the NCR and other media and will undoubtedly resurrect the brouhaha over the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. Oremus pro Pontifice, vere!

  6. Giambattista says:

    “younger people who prefer them now, are still being treated like second-class trash who get to sit in the back of the bus.”

    Yep, that describes my experience. Let’s pray this document liberates us. One way or the other I have no intention of sitting in the back of the bus (or being thrown under the bus) the rest of my life.

  7. Central Valley says:

    So many who mourned the loss of the older forms of worship have been mistreated by the Church’s shepherds. Many who knew the older forms back when, and younger people who prefer them now, are still being treated like second-class trash who get to sit in the back of the bus. And there only grudgingly………..Spot on for the Diocese of Fresno Ca. Although there are a few priests in the diocese who say the traditional mass and support those attached to it, the diocese as a whole treats us as suspect. In the two location for the Mass in Fresno, one at 330 PM Sundays and the other flip floping between 0800 and 1130 can hardly be said to be accomodating to the faithful. At the parishes offering the Extraordinary Form it is all about the collection not the Sacrifice of the Mass. Money talks in the Diocese of Fresno.

  8. cpaulitz says:

    This piece came out days ago, before details broke of the text.

  9. robtbrown says:

    They are writing here, here and here that in the Vatican they are trying to water-down

    Not to sound like Bultmann, but are there three different sources? Or are all three merely reporting what one source said?

  10. Charles E Flynn says:

    @robtbrown,

    I heard that there was an original message, but that it was significantly altered by a man with poor horsemanship.

  11. gc5341 says:

    Thanks Fr. John for your comforting words and for this wonderful website. I will pray for you and for the Holy Father to remain strong.

  12. basilorat says:

    I have to say that Cardinal Burke is a mover and a shaker in the Vatican now. This is a fact. A FACT. He has a direct line to the Holy Father and NOT through the Secretary of State. I can say with almost certainty I cannot see how Burke would allow any watering down of the MP, particularly since it was juridically never supressed to begin with. No one should be fearing anything. Traddies by being the Church’s whipping boy for so long, are getting too wacky and too defensive.

    I do find it fascinating how people can log on to simply say, “God bless our pope” and other pious piffle like that. I’m all for prayer and support, but to jump on and blog it in a combox…I just don’t get it.

  13. Basilorat: I won’t fault a Catholic who asks God to bless the Pope. There is something to be said for the sort of piety which leads to prayers for another who has need of them.

  14. robtbrown says:

    Charles E Flynn says:

    I heard that there was an original message, but that it was significantly altered by a man with poor horsemanship.

    Which wouldn’t matter because it would mean the three separate reports used the same source.

  15. Amerikaner says:

    Consider becoming a member of Corpus Christianum – http://www.corpuschristianum.org – to pray daily for the renewal of Christendom!

  16. Childermass says:

    “You can understand why they would be anxious about this Instruction, given how many positions of power are still in the hands of enemies of the Holy Father’s vision and provisions.”

    Of course the traditional Roman rite of the Catholic Church does not derive its value merely merely the currently reigning Pope’s preferences.

    What Pope Benedict did with Summorum Pontificum was an act of justice, a recognition that the Roman Pontiff does not have the authority to suppress the ancient Roman rite. [Yes, the Supreme Pontiff has the authority. Whether he should or not is another question. And this is a rabbit hole that is now closed.] I just can’t imagine the Holy Father going back on this conviction of his.

  17. PghCath says:

    Basilorat: I don’t think the phrase “God bless the Pope” is “pious piffle.” If prayer has any efficacy at all (which I think it does), the Pope could certainly use some.

    As your comment seems directed at me, please note that my complete statement was “God bless this Pope, who knows what he is doing.” I posted in response to an article that claims fears of an impending watering-down of Summorum Pontificum are “are completely without foundation”. My post was meant to convey that I am not surprised, because Pope Benedict knows what he is doing and would not let something as close to his heart as Summorum Pontificum be emasculated.

    Could I have been more clear? Certainly. That said, I do find it fascinating how people jump onto blogs and nit-pick others’ posts.

  18. joan ellen says:

    I pray for the Holy Father, for Summorum Pontificum, and for all of us to remain steadfast.

  19. mwa says:

    There is an internet petition to the Holy Father–”An Appeal to Preserve the Integrity of the Motu Proprio Sum. Pont.” at http://www.motuproprioappeal.com/