About the upcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum

There was a great deal of anxiety poured out by traditionalists over reports that an upcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum might erode Pope Benedict’s own provisions.  I was skeptical about that and cautioned calm and  the action of prayer for the Holy Father and confusion to the Holy Father’s enemies.

In any event, I am sure that a lot of people prayed and still pray about this.

The generally fair-minded and nearly ubiquitous John L. Allen, sadly still writing for dissenter’s central National Catholic Fishwrap has a piece about the upcoming Instruction together with some less interesting comments about the discussions betwixt the SSPX and a team appointed by the Holy See.

The bit about the discussions doesn’t say too much we don’t know: Sun rises in East… Discussions are hard going.

Regarding the Instruction, however, Mr. Allen wrote:

Speaking on background, Vatican officials insist that’s not the case [That the Instruction will actually undermine Summorum Pontificum.].

Instead, they say, the instruction will confirm that the moto proprio is now the universal law of the church, and insist that bishops apply it. Among other things, it will call for seminarians to be trained not just in Latin, but in the older rite itself, at least so they will know how to execute it faithfully and understand what’s being said.

The instruction will also confirm that the older Mass must be available wherever “groups of faithful” request it, without specifying how many people it takes to constitute a “group.”

The instruction will likewise confirm that the older liturgy is to be celebrated during Holy Week wherever there’s a “stable group” of faithful attached to it, as well as in religious orders which use the extraordinary rite[But apparently not for the Ambrosian Rite priests... which is puzzling.]

On the other hand, the instruction will probably not satisfy all traditionalist hopes. For example, it will probably not give a seminarian in a regular diocesan seminary the right to be ordained according to the pre-Vatican II ritual, in part [Attention...] because that ritual presumes ordination to “minor orders” and the sub-diaconate, which were suppressed under Pope Paul VI.

I had not thought of that last point, about minor orders, as the reason to withhold freedom from bishops to use the older Pontifical Romanum to ordain as it pleaseth to ordain.

The answer about withholding the older Pontificale was based on commonsense: Seminarians would all, or 99% of them, opt for the older Rite of ordination.  This doesn’t cast doubt on the validity of the newer rite.  But given a choice, only the rare seminarian today would choose to be ordained with the newer rite for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who knows the difference between the two forms.

But Mr. Allen’s comment touches on another, though related, issue.  I have long thought about the conundrum posed about the conferring of minor orders in traditional groups such as the FSSP, though not in this matter of the use of the Pontificale by residential bishops or their delegates.

My basic questions revolve around this two-fold aporia:

QUAERITUR: If there are no minor orders anymore, then why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?

QUAERITUR: If there are still minor orders, then why can’t they be extended to all seminarians?

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41 Responses to About the upcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum

  1. Oleksander says:

    The Minor Orders still exist fully in the Byzantine Catholic Churches as well as the other Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churchs from the Armenians to the Syro-Malankara’s in India (not to mention also in their Eastern Orthodox and Oriental orthodox counterparts)

    So they must also still exist in the Roman Catholic Church as well, proven by the Traditionalist seminaries

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?

    Perhaps Pope Paul VI thought he had abrogated the traditional Mass, thought he had suppressed minor orders, thought he had suppressed various clerical hats.

    I’m not sure about any of these. But I suspect those clerics still wearing those hats think they are real rather than fake hats.

  3. martinbutton says:

    1. Minor orders and instituted ministries are the same: “Ordines, qui hucusque minores vocabantur, «ministeria» in posterum dicendi sunt” (Ministeria quaedam, II). Pope Paul just reformed “cursus honorum” and changed a terminology. =)

    2. Only conferences of bishops can ask Holy See to introduce other instituted ministries, like porter or exorcist – “[...] Praeter officia Ecclesiae Latinae communia, nihil obstat, quominus Conferentiae Episcopales alia quoque petant ab Apostolica Sede, quorum institutionem in propria regione necessariam vel utilissimam, ob peculiares rationes, iudicaverint. Ad haec pertinent ex. gr. munera Ostiarii, Exorcistae et Catechistae, necnon alia munera iis mandanda, qui operibus caritatis sunt addicti, ubi hoc ministerium diaconibus nun sit collatum [...]” (Ministeria quaedam, Preface). :)

  4. kittenchan says:

    I read what Pope Paul VI wrote about what he was doing to the minor orders, and it was my understanding that he “consolidated” some of the duties into the instituted lector and the instituted acolyte. Do these now function as sort of… remnants of minor orders? My diocese has four instituted acolytes at this time, and I have heard that in Rome they are fairly common. Could those serve as “stop-gap” minor orders until the issue of whether we will bring them back or otherwise reconcile the requirement for minor orders before being ordained in the Extraordinary Form? I would love to hear more about this.

  5. Centristian says:

    “QUAERITUR: If there are no minor orders anymore, then why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?”

    I didn’t realize that was the case. You mention the FSSP. I assume that their seminarians, then, are first tonsured, then receive all the minor orders, and then the Sacrament of Holy Orders with the subdiaconate?

    If so, you’re right, it’s kind of screwy, the Church having swept away the minor orders and the subdiaconate. For most seminarians, entry to the clerical state happens only when they are ordained to the diaconate, since there is no minor clergy any longer. But what is a tonsured FSSP seminarian? Is he a cleric or not? And is a FSSP subdeacon bound to Holy Orders or not?

    I’d love to hear the official answer to this, too.

  6. Titus says:

    QUAERITUR: If there are no minor orders anymore, then why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?

    QUAERITUR: If there are still minor orders, then why can’t they be extended to all seminarians?

    Of course, it seems there is a third possibility: minor orders still exist, but the elevation of men to them is proscribed in most cases and no longer a prerequisite for ordination to the diaconate and priesthood. Having not read the relevant documents or any commentary thereon, I’m not sure whether this is the case, but it is at least a logical possibility.

  7. Father K says:

    Perhaps they are now regarded as sacramentals; conferring no juridic status. A man enters the clerical state at diaconate, regardless of whether he is ‘tonsured’ or not. He no longer becomes a cleric at tonsure. Perhaps it is to maintain the traditional ’7 steps to the altar’ for seminarians, keeping in mind the subdiaconate is not regarded as a major order either. In the old minor orders there were lector and acolyte; so seminarians would be considered installed lectors and acolytes if the older usage is maintained by certain groups, just as in the OF seminarians are installed as lectors and acolytes before diaconate.

  8. Andy Milam says:

    As good as John Allen, Jr. seems to be, it is clear that he has a bias against tradition as well. I certainly don’t see him running out to the nearest EF Mass. What I do see is that he is the moderate voice and tries to play both sides of the fence. He is the best they have, but that really isn’t saying too much.

    The only thing that he has going for him is that he is intellectually honest, which is more than the majority of the shill over at the fishwrap.

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    I do not know whether the following decree would include minor orders:

    DECREE

    In virtue of the faculty granted to it by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei concedes to that which is called the “Fraternity of St. Peter”, founded July 18, 1988 and declared of “Pontifical Right” by the Holy See, the faculty of celebrating Mass, and carrying out the rites of the sacraments and other sacred acts, as well as fulfilling the Divine Office according to the typical edition of the liturgical books in force in the year 1962; namely the Missal, Ritual, Pontifical, and Roman Breviary. This faculty may be used in their own churches or oratories; otherwise it may only be used with the consent of the Ordinary of the place, except for the celebration of private Masses.

    Anything to the contrary not withstanding.

    From the seat of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, on the 10th day of September, 1988.

  10. Tim Ferguson says:

    It is a bit of a canonical mess, is it not? [It is therefore good to have a real canonist chime in!]
    From my study of the matter (albeit not exhaustive, but fairly thorough), it seems to me that yes, the minor orders and the subdiaconate were suppressed in the Latin Church by pontifical fiat in the Apostolic Letter, Ministeria Quaedam, issued August 15, 1972 and effective January 1, 1973 (ahhh, for the days of documents being given a real vacatio legis…. but I digress).

    What one Peter does, Peter can undo.

    When Pope John Paul II established the Fraternity of St. Peter and conferred privileges on it, and when the other “traditional” groups were established or reconciled, they were, tacitly, permitted to restore the reality and efficacy of the minor orders and subdiaconate. Thus, what these groups are doing is not pretense, but real. Yet, for the whole of the Latin Church, the minor orders and subdiaconate have (sadly) been suppressed.

    Now, since the principle has been established that, though the minor orders and subdiaconate have been suppressed, certain groups have been permitted to restore them to use, it would seem that the door is open for requesting their restoration in other cases as well. Perhaps, in the near future, a diocesan parish not staffed by the members of the Fraternity or the Institute will find itself with a good, caring pastor, and a kind, intelligent deacon, who wish to provide the parish with the bountiful graces of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Sadly, they lack a subdeacon for the full implementation of a Solemn High Mass. They write to the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei, saying, “Your Most Gracious and Eminent Lords, could we please have Bob here ordained as a subdeacon so we can have a Solemn High Mass on occasion in the parish? He’s really good.” And the response from Ecclesia Dei will be….. (stay tuned)

  11. Anonymous Seminarian says:

    I agree with Kittenchan. Ministeria quaedam seems to replace the minor orders with the institutions. Furthermore, if a deacon is a deacon is a deacon, then a man ordained a deacon in the OF could as easily be ordained a priest in the EF, right? Otherwise, there would have to be a difference between OF and EF deacons, such that an OF deacon is somehow ‘less’ and lacks something he needs for the EF priestly ordination. Not, I think, something the Vatican intends to imply. This is very disappointing, if true.

  12. Geremia says:

    FSSP does indeed tonsure: http://www.fsspolgs.org/archive.html [Yes. We know. What it means... that is not clear.]

  13. Joe in Canada says:

    My understanding was that since acolytes could be called subdeacons by episcopal conferences if it seemed fit, the ministry was not really suppressed, but subsumed into that of acolyte. That at least was the understanding arrived at by a prominent priest of the eastern Church when he wanted me, instituted Acolyte and not ordained Deacon, to vest as a Sub-Deacon. He did cross his fingers at the dubium of assuming that his Eparch would agree….

  14. jrotond2 says:

    I am a member of an all-Traditional parish under the Diocese, staffed by diocesan priests. My pastor and I have discussed, once or twice, the possibility of having some men of the parish instituted as lectors and acolytes so that they may officially fulfill the roles they take when:

    1. Serving at Mass
    2. Chanting lessons at Divine Office Services (e.g. Tenebrae), at the Easter Vigil et. al.

    Unfortunately, the bishop is not in favor of extending these ministries to laymen. I think that perhaps some people in the diocese would be rattled because these ministries are only open to men.

    It is also my understanding that a man who is instituted as an acolyte under current norms could function as a Sub-deacon at a Solemn High Mass in the TLM. In fact, I know of one FSSP parish who has utilized a layman as a Sub-deacon.

    Certainly, the matter of minor orders needs clarification. I also see much good being done to augment the liturgical life and spirituality of a parish if these minor orders were extended to qualified laymen in the parishes.

    John R

  15. wolfeken says:

    It would be extremely helpful if Pope Benedict XVI declares that minor orders, just like the traditional Latin Mass, were never abrogated. In case he is reading this…! (And, if Paul VI somehow did abrogate them, then what exactly have all these bishops been ordaining? Do existing ones disappear?)

    It would also be helpful for the Vatican to do a simple Google search (they’re online now, right?) to read all of the different concerns that have been talked about since the 2007 motu proprio and address them. For instance, the word “etiam” is not translated in the English version of Section Six of the motu proprio in nearly all translations. What does that mean? Since “etiam” translates loosely to “also” does that mean that the Epistle and Gospel can ALSO be read in the vernacular from the pulpit after they have been read for real in Latin at the altar? Some priests have jumped the gun and eliminated the Latin readings of the Epistle and Gospel based on a dubious translation of the motu proprio, “etiam” be damned.

    Finally, there were too many respectable people who heard bad things from good sources on this clarification. I would like to think there was damage control — and correction — at the Vatican on the upcoming clarification as a result of the “anxiety” of the “traditionalists.” In fact, I heard that is exactly the case…

  16. Centristian says:

    “Perhaps, in the near future, a diocesan parish not staffed by the members of the Fraternity or the Institute will find itself with a good, caring pastor, and a kind, intelligent deacon, who wish to provide the parish with the bountiful graces of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Sadly, they lack a subdeacon for the full implementation of a Solemn High Mass.”

    Nah, you don’t need an actual subdeacon to fulfil the role of subdeacon of a solemn Mass; an instituted lector/acolyte can legitimately perform that role…and just about any Catholic male in good standing can questionably perform that role.

    I suppose the terminology is the question (for me, at any rate). What does “suppressed” mean? It apparently doesn’t mean (if I understand what you’re saying correctly) that the minor orders and the subdiaconate do not or cannot exist, only that they are no longer to be conferred (generally speaking). I suppose it’s something like the French nobility: it still exists, but peerages cannot be conferred on anyone any longer. In other words, I don’t suppose all minor clerics and subdeacons ceased to be what they were on January 1, 1973, only that they were the last of the line.

    And, as you say, what one Peter taketh, a subsequent Peter can giveth, so even if the orders had been declared no longer existant by Paul, John Paul could just as easily make them reappear. My sense from what you are saying, however, is that they never disappeared, and so Pope John Paul didn’t make them reappear, but simply allowed them to be conferred, once more (in the case of the FSSP).

  17. Trevor says:

    “The answer about withholding the older Pontificale was based on commonsense: Seminarians would all, or 99% of them, opt for the older Rite of ordination. This doesn’t cast doubt on the validity of the newer rite. But given a choice, only the rare seminarian today would choose to be ordained with the newer rite for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who knows the difference between the two forms.”

    I don’t know about that, Father. The older rite is beautiful, yes, but there is something to be said about the simplicity of the new. [And the ambiguity of some aspects that had to be corrected in 1990?] And while there are a sizable number of people in the seminary who like the older form of Mass (and may say it one day), I don’t think most would want to abandon the newer rites completely. [?!? ZOOM! I am talking about ordination. OR-DIN-A-TION. You seem to be talking about Mass.]

  18. Phil_NL says:

    I’m no so sure if there really is much of a mess here. The way I’m reading this (between the lines obviously, as we don’t have a formal text):

    In order to be ordained in the EF, you would have to be ordained to minor orders first. Otherwise you’d be missing something. A certain je-ne-sais-quoi that comes from mixing the various processes of ordination, and with no clear definition/comparison what does what for each step in both forms. So it would be possible to be ordained wholly in the EF or OF, but all the way from layman to priest in one of the two forms. This would be consistent with a) minor orders still in existence, in so far as permission has been given to confer them, as well as the practice of the FSSP, and b) the general rule that the OF does not have them and they are supressed in the ordinary from.

    The only logical akwardness is then that no-one in the documents seemed to have made arrangements what to do for those who did want to continue the-not-completely-abrogated EF. And those are exactly the blanks the Holy Father is now filling in.

  19. Trevor says:

    “QUAERITUR: If there are no minor orders anymore, then why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?”

    Appeasement. It’s easier to allow a few groups to use the older pontifical if it will keep them happy in the bosom of the Church, then to change canon law and clarify the differences between “ministry” and “order”. I say that universal canon law trumps the indult that the traditionalist groups use, and therefore, the minor orders should be considered suppressed, and that one becomes a cleric at ordination to the diaconate (regardless of whether its the old rite or new rite).

    I think another important question that hasn’t been addressed is: What graces do the minor orders actually confer (regardless of their canonical status)? If in practice, the orders are purely ceremonial, then aren’t they also in some way “fake”? If in the traditional liturgy, the priest has the key to the sacristy and does the exorcism in baptism, and the major clergy do all the readings; then, isn’t the only “real” order that of Acolyte? Surely, receiving the orders can edify those discerning a vocation (as do the reception of ministries in the newer rite). However, if they don’t confer any real powers and responsibilities, then I can understand the Concilium’s decision regarding their suppression.

  20. moon1234 says:

    The problem with allowing laymen to fulfill the role of subdeacons will be the wailing and knashing of teeth from SSPX and more traditional groups who reject that the minor orders were supressed. They will NOT agree that an acolyte can fulfill the role of subdeacon. This is why you see people still devoted to the SSPX. There are still too many of these innovations that people want to bring from the changes after 1962 into the EF.

    I don’t think that we will be able to say for certain what is in the clarification until it is actually published. I sure hope there is an appendix that will explain how the decisions in the clarification were reached.

  21. Henry Edwards says:

    “FSSP does indeed tonsure: http://www.fsspolgs.org/archive.html [Yes. We know. What it means... that is not clear.]”

    If Peter undid what another Peter had done–as Tim Ferguson put it–would it not appear that tonsure now means what it did previously? From the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “A sacred rite instituted by the Church by which a baptized and confirmed Christian is received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair and the investment with the surplice. The person thus tonsured becomes a partaker of the common privileges and obligations of the clerical state and is prepared for the reception of orders. The tonsure itself is not an ordination properly so called, nor a true order. It is rather a simple ascription of a person to the Divine service in such things as are common to all clerics.”

  22. jbas says:

    It seems to me that Paul VI’s main objective was to open these offices to those laity not seeking sacramental ordination. The recent synod on the Sacred Scriptures even called for women to be formally installed as Readers (Lectors), thus extending this objective. Perhaps a two-tiered system is worthy of consideration: minor orders for seminarians, and formal ministries for others. This would solve some problems and allow for the older form of ordination (if the objections to it truly concern the minor orders.)

  23. MichaelJ says:

    Does anybody have a link handy to the actual document that theoretically abolished the minor orders? Meaning no disrespect to anyone, but experience has taught me to take a “Trust but Verify” approach. I recall that before 2007, there was a similar issue with regard to the Mass.

    Legioins of educated and scholarly people assured me ,while providing mountains of citations, that the Mass had, in fact, been abrogated despite that the documents supposedly doing so did not seem to clearly state this fact. Even today, there are some who insist that the Holy Father’s Summorium Pontificum was an “reversal” of what Paul VI had done rather than a factual statement identifying what had (and had not) been done.

  24. moon1234 says:

    Perhaps a two-tiered system is worthy of consideration: minor orders for seminarians, and formal ministries for others. This would solve some problems and allow for the older form of ordination (if the objections to it truly concern the minor orders.)

    You would then see wholesale rejection of these “lay ministries” (an oxymoron) by almost all traditionalists.

    As to Father’s musing about almost all seminarians preferring the older form, I would have to agree. Take a look at this ordination from the movie “The Cardinal”. The rites in this moview were overseen by a monk and part of the money for the film came from the Vatican. The liason in the Vatican was then Joseph Ratzinger. This may give you an idea of where (I hope) the Holy Father is trying to return us.

    Perhaps a two-tiered system is worthy of consideration: minor orders for seminarians, and formal ministries for others. This would solve some problems and allow for the older form of ordination (if the objections to it truly concern the minor orders.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbK3TiU-zPw

  25. robtbrown says:

    jbas says:

    It seems to me that Paul VI’s main objective was to open these offices to those laity not seeking sacramental ordination. The recent synod on the Sacred Scriptures even called for women to be formally installed as Readers (Lectors),

    What Synod on Sacred Scriptures? And what specific text called for women to be installed formally?

    thus extending this objective. Perhaps a two-tiered system is worthy of consideration: minor orders for seminarians, and formal ministries for others. This would solve some problems and allow for the older form of ordination (if the objections to it truly concern the minor orders.)

    A two tiered system makes no sense.

  26. In the Orthodox Churches following the Byzantine use, the offices of Reader and Subdeacon are viewed as minor orders, and usually their duties at the services are pretty much subsummed by those designated acolytes (taperbearer). Clerical tonsure is given at the Rite of Blessing a Reader. The point is: the churches have often had varying uses of the minor orders. It is the Major Sacramental Orders that seem to have the most consistent natures, since they are of Apostolic Order, derived from Jesus Christ Himself.

  27. robtbrown says:

    MichaelJ says:

    Does anybody have a link handy to the actual document that theoretically abolished the minor orders? Meaning no disrespect to anyone, but experience has taught me to take a “Trust but Verify” approach. I recall that before 2007, there was a similar issue with regard to the Mass.

    The document is Ministeria Quaedam. Did it abolish minor orders? Yes and no.

  28. Oneros says:

    In terms of canonical effect in the Latin Church, the minor orders and subdiaconate do not confer the clerical state.

    Nevertheless, these ceremonies might be used to confer some rights or obligations internal to the institutes in question (most especially, liturgical duties vis a vis the Old Rite) and I’d argue are still sacramentals conferring the actual graces to carry out such Old Rite ministries, even if they do not have any sort of official canonical juridical standing anymore.

  29. Henry Edwards says:

    “What one Peter does, Peter can undo.”

    Which suggests the possibility that Pope Benedict could possibly rectify the current chaos in the Church by first vacating all the decrees of Paul VI, and then reinstating those that have turned out to have been wise and prudent. For instance, the latter would surely include Humanae Vitae and the promulgation of the Novus Ordo (with the opportunity to correct some of its more egregious defects and omissions, some of which Cardinal Ratzinger has described incisively).

  30. Titus says:

    I say that universal canon law trumps the indult that the traditionalist groups use

    Well, that’s a very particular canonical claim. I also think it is quite wrong. For one thing, the laws promulgated that pertain to, e.g., the FSSP, are, I believe, universal law: they “bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.” (C. 12.) Cf. “particular law,” which generally applies only to a given territory. (C. 13.) Furthermore, the “indults” were issued after the 1983 Code, meaning that they cannot be understood as being supplanted by the CIC. They may themselves repeal or limit parts of the 1983 Code (see C. 20), or they may harmonize with it (see C. 21), but they certainly are not “trumped” by it. That would be contrary to the entire general understanding of how laws of any type are promulgated and interpreted.

    Or, professional canonists, am I mistaken?

  31. amenamen says:

    Post Synodal Apostolic Exortation, Verbum Domini

    At the synod, there were 55 propositions given to the pope. Proposition 17 was for the Ministry of Reader (Lector) to be opened to women.
    http://www.zenit.org/article-24084?l=english
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805459.htm

    In Verbum Domini, the pope did not give a definitive answer to this proposition. There is no reference to Proposition 17 in the text or the footnotes. In Verbum Domini, paragraph 52, he spoke about the Ministry of Reader:

    “The Synod on the Eucharist had already called for greater care to be taken in the proclamation of the word of God.[204] As is known, while the Gospel is proclaimed by a priest or deacon, in the Latin tradition the first and second readings are proclaimed by an appointed reader, whether a man or a woman. I would like to echo the Synod Fathers who once more stressed the need for the adequate training[205] of those who exercise the munus of reader in liturgical celebrations,[206] and particularly those who exercise the ministry of Reader, which in the Latin rite is, as such, a lay ministry. All those entrusted with this office, even those not instituted in the ministry of Reader, should be truly suitable and carefully trained. This training should be biblical and liturgical, as well as technical: “The purpose of their biblical formation is to give readers the ability to understand the readings in context and to perceive by the light of faith central point of the revealed message. The liturgical formation ought to equip readers to have some grasp of the meaning and structure of the liturgy of the word and the significance of its connection with the liturgy of the Eucharist. The technical preparation should make the readers skilled in the art of reading publicly, either with the power of their own voice or with the help of sound equipment.”[207]
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html

    There was a report in November 2010 that Cardinal Ouellet said that the pope “studied (studies?) the matter intently.”
    http://protectthepope.com/?p=1924
    http://www.kath.net/detail.php?id=28899

    What did the cardinal mean?

  32. Oleksander says:

    “Two ministries, adapted to present-day needs, are to be preserved in the whole Latin Church, namely, those of reader and acolyte. The functions heretofore assigned to the subdeacon are entrusted to the reader and the acolyte; consequently, the major order of subdiaconate no longer exists in the Latin Church. There is, however, no reason why the acolyte cannot be called a subdeacon in some places, at the discretion of the conference of bishops.”

    -Ministeria Quaedam

  33. cpaulitz says:

    You can knock off the first question, as there are clearly minor orders each year, by multiple bishops. Rome knows about it and allows it. Therefore, they exist still.

    The second question is what we should focusing on energy on discussing.

  34. Random Friar says:

    I think it would be good not to overexert ourselves too much on what might be said. It seems rumors and mis-reportings get disseminated at the speed of the internet these days (e.g., Mother Angelica). It might be good intellectual exercise, but not much more until the actual document comes out.

  35. paulbailes says:

    Dear Henry Edwards

    Re “the decrees of Paul VI … that have turned out to have been wise and prudent … would surely include … the promulgation of the Novus Ordo ”

    I think you’re week early (week + a day in WDTPRS time)!

    But still worth a chuckle. Who writes your stuff?

    Cheers
    Paul

  36. totustuusmaria says:

    I have thought long & hard about this. With every bit of respect that is due to my friend Tim Furgeson, I have to question in what sensetheywere suppressed by papal fiat. I believe he means that the minor orders in the sense in which they exist in the EF were suppressed, because Subdeacon was divided up between lector & acolyte, & new powers of administering the Eucharist was given to the acolyte. The other orders were supressed as universal ministries. Thus it can be said that acolyte and lector constitute new orders/ministries (with different powers), and the others are no longer universal.

    Yet I don’t see any sense in which the concept ofminor orders was supressed. Furthermore, I don’t think it is self-evidential that ministeria quaedam renders attempted ordinations null and void rather than merely valid but illicit. I believe Pope Paul states something like “The subdeaconate no longer exists in the Latin Church”, but that could be a liturgical and canonical statement rather than a statement that attenpted ordibations no longer produce their desired effect (whether that was a share in holy orders or making the candidate a sacramental I leave open).

    I think is possible that there is a liturgical reality pernitted. By Rome but not forseeb by law. Someone who recieves tonsure might be called a ‘liturgical cleric’ but is not legally a cleric. Someone who receives mminor orders particpates in something valid liturgically and oftentimes licit, but currentlt not foreseen by the law.

    I wonder if they might not have a more practical problem in mind. If a man has to receive tonsure & the minor orders to be ordained in the old rite, he (a) can’t do candidacy et al with the other seminarians, and (b) has to have a lot of private ordinations with the bishop. Maybe they’re just concerned with seminary unity.

  37. amsjj1002 says:

    Is there an estimate of when the Instruction will be released?

  38. moon1234 says:

    I would highly doubt that ROME, or any other prelate, would simply dismiss an ordained subdeacon as having no legal rights. Would they do that to all of the other Catholic sects in union with Rome? Summarily dismiss those ordained to minor orders? I highly doubt it.

    My guess is that all of those who have been ordained into minor orders in modern times would be respected as having the SAME rights and priviliges as they did in 1962, via SP.

    The idea of supressing the minor orders and bringing in lay people to fulfill these duties was dumb. It marginalized the priest. Look at what happens in so many parishes today. People come and go from the sanctuary at will with little respect for our Lord. This has even led to the Priest not distributing communion in some places.

    How far the respect for the sanctuary has fallen. In times past the King of France was heard saying HE was not worthy to enter the throneroom of God. Now some kid in short sleeves and Jeans prances up with nary of thought of what he or she is doing. So sad.

    Why are so many people attracted to the minor orders and traditional forms? It is simple. They foster respect for our Lord and provide a steady progression of those young men towards the major orders. The minor orders need to be restored through the whole Church and these “Lay Ministries” need to be abolished.

  39. jflare says:

    “Is there an estimate of when the Instruction will be released?”

    Soon.
    (Meaning tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or….)

    As Fr Z has commented previously, expect it when you see it.

  40. Legisperitus says:

    Henry Edwards at 2:42 – That’s the sanest approach to the issue I can imagine!

  41. robtbrown says:

    Amenamen,

    Many thanks for the references. The Synod was on the Word of God, of which the Sacred Scriptures occupy a part.

    1. That the bishops requested that women be installed as lectors is nothing official.

    2. That having been said, their request is entirely in line with Ministeria Quaedam and canon 230, both of which disengage lector from Holy Orders. They are now lay ministries, and so any gender restriction makes no sense.

    3. That having been said, it makes no sense to dummy up some phony liturgy to “install” lay people for a function having nothing to do with Orders.