Pope Francis shoots down bishops who want Summorum Pontificum overturned

Recently there was a news item about some Italian bishops griping (that’s not news) to Pope Francis (ditto) about Summorum Pontificum (as before). They think it should be extirpated (more of the same). Francis shot them down. That’s news.

I am having days filled with museums at the moment, and therefore living on my computer is low on my list. However, my friend Fr. Tim Finigan, His Hermeneuticalness, has the low down. Let’s see what clever analysis he offers (my emphases and comments):

The Bishops of the region of Tavoliere met recently with Pope Francis on an ad limina visit. On their return home, one has given a fascinating glimpse of the attitude of Pope Francis to those who are seeking to use the opportunity of his papacy to attack the traditional Mass. This is reported in the Italian paper Il Foglio, in the article: La messa antica non si tocca, il Papa gesuita spiazza ancora tutti (“The old mass is not to be touched, the Jesuit Pope wrong-foots everyone” [spiazza... floors, shocks])

Here is [Fr Finigan's] translation of the relevant part of the article which tells of other bishops raising concerns with the Holy Father and goes on to speak of the intervention concerning the old Mass:

Then it was the turn of the bishop of Conversano and Monopoli, Domenico Padovano, who recounted to the clergy of his diocese how the priority [what a sad group of men] of the bishops of the region of Tavoliere had been that of explaining to the Pope that the mass in the old rite was creating great divisions within the Church. The underlying message: Summorum Pontificum should be cancelled, or at least strongly limited. But Francis said no.

Mgr Padovano explained that Francis replied to them saying that they should be vigilant over the extremism of certain traditionalist groups but also suggesting that they should treasure tradition and create the necessary conditions so that tradition might be able to live alongside innovation.  [Right.  And we could even have a document that says that!  It could be called... how 'bout... Ecclesia Dei adflicta?  In it the Pope could command by his Apostolic authority that bishops do that.]
This is not really a surprise (did anyone expect that Pope Francis would somehow “repeal” Summorum Pontificum? [Apparently those bishops did.]) but it is a welcome confirmation of what we would all expect.

One thing that jumps out of the story is that the bishops of this region judged that their main pastoral priority – to be communicated to the Pope on a five-yearly visit – was to attack Summorum Pontificum. ["priority"] Forget abortion, embryo experimentation, the push for same-sex marriage throughout Europe, the loss of faith of many Catholics and our failure in catechesis and evangelisation. No, the really big problem is a small number of priests legitimately saying the old Mass. [small but growing, especially as the Biological Solution kicks into gear] Given what Pope Francis has said about the danger of being a self-referential Church, I can well imagine he gave them short shrift.  [Good insight.]

Those bishops fell into the trap of pitting Pope Francis against Pope Benedict.

Francis himself gave us an example of READING FRANCIS THROUGH BENEDICT.

I will now repeat what I wrote after the election of Pope Francis, addressed to those who were unsure about how to proceed giving the new Pope’s different (outward) style.

The tank has only one gear.

If you are feeling down and don’t know what to do, if you are discouraged because Pope Francis is doing different things, remember that Pope Benedict left juridical provisions.

If you don’t know what to do…

… take the training wheels off and RIDE THE DAMN BIKE.

Get something going.  Now is not the time to hesitate.  Press forward.

 

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Brick by Brick, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, Reading Francis Through Benedict, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Pope Francis shoots down bishops who want Summorum Pontificum overturned

  1. APX says:

    create the necessary conditions so that tradition might be able to live alongside innovation.
    I think that could have been worded better. I don’t want traditional extremism (aka: traditude), but let’s be careful when speaking of having “innovations”.

    Nevertheless, this is good news.

  2. Fr AJ says:

    It was also reported that Pope Francis defended Msgr. Marini against those who have pushed for his removal.

  3. alanphipps says:

    Thank you for noting that, Fr. AJ. So many seemed so sure that Msgr. Marini was going to be imminently sacked based on mere speculation.

  4. skl says:

    Related (about Marini) http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2013/05/why-pope-wont-fire-marini-put-treasure.html?m=1

    All good news.

    I read somewhere that Italy has a huge number of small see and as such of bishops too? With all due respect to the office maybe that arrangement even if with historical reasons for it may cause certain issues?

  5. Fr AJ says:

    alanphipps, yes reportedly the Pope said many have been pushing for the Papal MC’s removal to which Francis said no because he can learn from Msgr. Marini’s traditional formation and Msgr. can learn from his “more emancipated formation.”

  6. Deo gratias. This is good news indeed.

  7. Robbie says:

    Not surprisingly, Rorate Caeli has a slightly different interpretation of what was said. They claim SP was not specifically addressed, only the traditional Latin Mass was. That seems to be splitting hairs, but it’s tough to tell since there’s no transcript of the conversation. Regardless, I think the intent of Pope Francis was clear: the traditional Latin Mass is to be respected.

    I do think some new ground was broken, or at least confirmed, by the story on this topic. In a translation provided at Rorate Caeli, Francis said, “live the relationship with the liturgy with simplicity and without superstructures”. Simplicity is not surprising given what we’ve know about the former Cardinal’s style, but “without superstructure” is a bit concerning to me. Is he suggesting Mass can be said outside the rules of NO or in a free form manner?

    Finally, as Fr. AJ noted, Pope Francis spoke openly that he rejected calls to sack Msgr. Marini. I certainly appreciate that news, but was it in poor form to speak so openly about the topic? Doesn’t it put Marini in an unenviable position? I’m happy as be he’s staying, but I’m not sure the way it was stated was the best.

  8. “a welcome confirmation” indeed!! Thanks for this encouraging tidbit. Those of us in the corner here clutching our rosaries, feeling a bit like orphans, with usurping innovators on one side and bishopless schismatics on the other, need all the encouragement we can get.

    I pray for our Pope Francis, that he grow in strength and wisdom to stay on the path that the Immaculate Heart of Mary sets for him.

  9. It’s not the use of the Extraordinary Form that causes divisions in the Church. What causes divisions in the Church is priests and bishops who treat as the heathen and the publican faithful Catholics who want the Extraordinary Form.

  10. anilwang says:

    Fr AJ says: “he can learn from Msgr. Marini’s traditional formation and Msgr. can learn from his ‘more emancipated formation.’”

    Given that we’re reading with a translation of 3rd party testimony, the nuances of the original language or the accuracy of the words are uncertain. But assuming accuracy, let’s look at what is not said. He didn’t say the NO mass was emancipated. He said his formation was. That is true.

    Traditional formation is more structured and modern formation is more free form. There are advantages to both, and there is an advantage to amalgamate both as many home school parents know. Structured learning ensures you thoroughly know the basics in a short amount of time but unstructured Socratic learning makes that knowledge more personal and practical (albeit at an unpredictably slower pace) and is more eclectic. If you go too far in either extreme you end up with either elitist scholars that react against anything that doesn’t fit their narrow training or mindless drifters that change their minds whenever their situation or emotions change.

  11. Eugene says:

    while not a traditionalist liturgist myself…I have great respect for those who participate, and promote the EF and what both Pope Benedict and Msgr. Marini have done to restore the sense of the sacred to the NO….I am quite disheartened that some of those who are ordained and in high places in our church can be so unkind and uncharitable to a fellow cleric who has done nothing wrong and so hostile to tradition to actively ask for the person’s removal…i guess I am being a bit naive but where have chairty and respect gone, is this an example of careerism in high places trumping true Christian values, I find it most distressing

  12. anilwang says:

    Robbie says: “live the relationship with the liturgy with simplicity and without superstructures”

    Keep in mind that he also said “noble simplicity’of which the Council speaks is not sloppiness, but Beauty, beauty with a capital ‘B’”

    I’m not sure what “superstructures” means, but given his later statement, it does not mean unstructured. He seems to view liturgy as an act of love.

    If I were to guess what superstructure means, I’d say it likely means ushers at mass which escort and police where people should go, who should get out (i.e. parents with crying babies, people who want to kneel after communion before everyone has taken communion, etc), forbidding people placing flowers being places before statues (only the liturgical committee are allowed), etc. These are structures placed above the existing structure of the liturgy that seriously harm the faith.

  13. stliberiusprayforus says:

    This would appear to be good news!

  14. Robbie says:

    anilwang

    You could be right about what “superstructures” meant, but I got the sense it meant a more free flow form of the liturgy since he said it in relation to his style vs. that of the TLM and Marini. Does this mean he supports adlibbing? I hope not. Does this mean he supports liturgical creativity? Yikes! I hope not.

  15. acricketchirps says:

    APX: I think that could have been worded better… let’s be careful when speaking of having “innovations”.

    I’m thinking and hoping it might be that the Italian word translated as “innovation” doesn’t have quite the baggage that English word has.

  16. Ralph says:

    One thing that jumps out of the story is that the bishops of this region judged that their main pastoral priority – to be communicated to the Pope on a five-yearly visit – was to attack Summorum Pontificum. ["priority"] Forget abortion, embryo experimentation, the push for same-sex marriage throughout Europe, the loss of faith of many Catholics and our failure in catechesis and evangelisation. No, the really big problem is a small number of priests legitimately saying the old Mass.

    This paragraph is powerful. What better tool for the enemy than to have us infighting over matters that should have been settled by now ( Summorum Pontificum (2007) and Ecclesia Dei (1988) ) and ignore the elephants in the room that are devouring souls across the globe?

    Do the other rites in our Church go through this same struggle over liturgy, or is this a Roman Rite thing?

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  18. Random Friar says:

    @Ralph: The other Rites or uses have been “fixed”, for the most part, in their pre-Conciliar form. The Dominican Rite has not changed one iota, probably more because we have not paid much attention to it, although it remains a viable and usable form.

    The Eastern Churches all have their own issues, which I hesitate to speak beyond my knowledge. A fair amount of their issues seem to be what to do with “Latinizations,” and whether to undo them, or how to undo them.

    @Everyone else: I’m not sure how this is causing “great division” — has there been some mass (no pun intended) movement to exclusive EF celebrants, and now the bishops can’t find folks for the OF? I doubt it. My guess is that some pastors are complaining to their bishops, and the bishops are probably tired of hearing it. At least now the Italian bishops could go back to their pastors and say, “Hey, we asked.”

  19. PA mom says:

    “superstructures” what if he means not boxing in Catholics, requiring them to join TLM specific groups, creating and training new choirs, shipping in priests from outside, generally forcing them to create new parish structures in order to receive the old Mass?
    “Living alongside” sounds like parishes offering the old Mass on a regular schedule in common time slots within typical parishes, anti ” the ghetto effect” concerns that have been expressed occasionally here.

  20. anilwang says:

    Robbie says: ” Does this mean he supports adlibbing? I hope not. ”

    I doubt it, since ad libbing is sloppiness (you don’t bother to actually prepare) which is something he’s opposed to. He’s not a liturgical rigorist. Neither was Pope John Paul II. But he also has great respect for Pope Benedict VI and he is willing to learn from Msgr Marini, so there is hope there. What we’ve also seen is that he is more open to surprises natural to life, such as the possible exorcism, and blessing mothers and babies while the babies are nursing. If this has its affects in the liturgy only time will tell.

  21. backtothefuture says:

    Of course it’s gonna cause some divisions. People are discovering the traditional mass and seeing the n.o for the protestant inspired concoction it is. It’s bitter pill to swallow to know that you’ve been deprived of the authentic faith because of a few people’s wacky idea’s.

  22. Robbie says:

    PA mom

    It’s very possible Francis meant Catholics could celebrate the Mass in two different forms. In other words, we shouldn’t be forced to join NO if we want TLM or we shouldn’t be forced to join TLM if we want NO. That’s a good point.

    Francis could mean something different since he went on to say, “I myself may treasure his (Marini) traditional formation, and at the same time he might take advantage of my more emancipated formation.” What emancipated formation means will be determined in the months and years to come I suppose.

  23. M. K. says:

    Robbie wrote above: “I certainly appreciate that news, but was it in poor form to speak so openly about the topic? Doesn’t it put Marini in an unenviable position? I’m happy as be he’s staying, but I’m not sure the way it was stated was the best.”

    I had the same reaction when I first read about the Holy Father’s comments – I was glad that he publicly supported Msgr. Marini, but I also wondered whether it was a bit indiscreet for him to address the topic in public. On further reflection, I also wonder whether this and the Pope’s rebuttal of the bishops’ criticism of SP is a way of reminding them that he’s really the boss and that they shouldn’t try to manipulate him into rolling back key initiatives and appointments of the last pontificate.

  24. Clinton R. says:

    Again, we really don’t know what to take away from Pope Francis’ comments vis a vis the liturgy. He statements do often lack clarity, as we have seen with his “atheists are redeemed comments” that had to be clarified by Father Thomas Rosica. As for His Holiness’ statement ” they should treasure tradition and create the necessary conditions so that tradition might be able to live alongside innovation. ” What does the Pope mean by “innovation”? Hasn’t that been the problem for the Church Militant in the last 50 years? Endless innovation and wreckovation of cathedrals and churches. Novelty after novelty in the liturgy. And so on and so forth. We do need to pray for Pope Francis, because I don’t think anyone can tell what he plans to do or say. +JMJ+

  25. Athelstan says:

    Then it was the turn of the bishop of Conversano and Monopoli, Domenico Padovano, who recounted to the clergy of his diocese how the priority [what a sad group of men] of the bishops of the region of Tavoliere had been that of explaining to the Pope that the mass in the old rite was creating great divisions within the Church.

    Astonishing to consider given that the entire region of dioceses in Tavoliere has a grand total of four (4) regular TLM’s, with only a sporadic Saturday TLM in Bishop Padovano’s own diocese. And yet with such a tiny sacramental footprint, traditionalists are nonetheless causing “great divisions” that smash all other pastoral priorities to the wayside.

    Imagine what they might be capable of if every parish had one TLM per week. I’m sure it would be like nothing seen in Italy since the Goths came to town.

  26. Anti-Relativist says:

    Good news – changing perceptions, hearts and minds is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as the Holy Father does not block the resurgence of TLM and Pope Benedict 16th’s liturgical reforms (and it seems that he will not) they will continue to bear fruit.

  27. McCall1981 says:

    Anti-Relativist,
    I agree. It’s not something that can be legislated from the top anyway, it has to grow organically from the bottom up. I’ve thought that Francis will basically leave SP alone and not touch it one way or the other, so it will continue to grow during his pontificate.

  28. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    The episcopate mostly makes me sad.

  29. Therese says:

    This is the confirmation that many have been waiting for, I believe. But we need to get on the stick and ask–politely but persistently–for the TLM in our parishes. No one’s going to hand it to us.

  30. NoraLee9 says:

    The Holy Father is quoted as saying: ““live the relationship with the liturgy with simplicity and without superstructures”. I read this to mean that priests can say the TLM without asking their superiors for permission, exactly as written in SP.

  31. Aquinas says:

    Has there been a meeting between Pope Francis and SSPX Bishop Fellay yet?

  32. YES! The Biological Solution! Exactly.

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