It defies reason, but sometimes we still find bishops who think that Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae don’t exist and that they can still order matters concerning the older form of Mass according to the now superseded Ecclesia Dei adflicta.
Bishop William J. Wright of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in NSW, Australia, apparently has not yet received the news that Summorum Pontificum, clarified by Universae Ecclesiae, provides law for the whole Latin Church, including the part in Australia, and that he, as diocesan bishop, does not have the authority to overturn those provisions or ignore them.
His Excellency recently responded by letter to a lay woman’s letter concerning celebrations of the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass in that diocese. It seems that a priest from outside the diocese was celebrating Mass for a group. The group wants more. From what I can glean this is a stable group of the faithful in that diocese and they are requesting the Extraordinary Form. Most of you know what Summorum Pontificum says, so I don’t have to go into too much detail here.
Some of the points from Bishop Wright’s letter. I am not making this up.
“I would have no objection to your having Mass in that form more often, even weekly, provided it was not regularly on a Sunday.”
And also… try to figure out what this means.
“The Indult, as you know, is explicit that the request for the Latin (1962) Mass should come from a stable group of the Faithful in a given area who have a special affection for Mass in that form. Such a group is by definition, then, a particular group within the community. The Sunday Mass is, however, the whole community’s Mass. I could not sanction a Mass for a particular group frequently on Sundays, celebrated apart from the common worship of the parish.”
I read through that a several times and am still not sure what all that gobbledygook about groups “within the community” is supposed to mean and how “the community’s Mass” means that those people cannot have the Extraordinary Form on a Sunday.
It is too bad that His Excellency will now be forcing all the priests of that diocese to eliminate all regular Masses for special groups. Too bad for them, right?
For example, too darn bad for the Polish community within the community of Newcastle, which apparently includes the Cathedral parish. I noticed on their website that there is a Mass in POLISH on a SUNDAY! Imagine such a thing! Oh no! Can’t have that. That’s a community apart from the within-community and they can’t have a Mass apart from the community and be not within the community! Can they? They are a community apart and they now have to be forced to be within.
And what’s this I see? They have Sunday Masses in ITALIAN and SLOVENIAN too?
A detail from a screen shot.
Wait. To be fair the Slovenians only get their Mass on the 5th Sunday of the month. And we all know how often months have a 5th Sunday.
That’s still more Sundays than the Extraordinary Form gets in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
It is a good thing they never have Masses for young people on a Sunday. That might make young people an apart-community instead of a non-apart community within the community. It would be impossible to think about having a community of communities with the Catholic Church.
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are saying. “You’ve got this all wrong, as usual. It’s just the people who want the older form of Mass who have no standing there. Got it? They have to be forced back within the within community thing in spite of the Church’s laws.”
Gotchya. It’s clearer now.
In any event, I just wanted to share this amazing letter with the whole wide world.