ASK FATHER: Metropolitan Archbishops and Pontifical Masses

From a reader…

QUARITUR:

I know Cardinals can celebrate pontifical high masses “at the throne” anywhere. Can metropolitan archbishops do so anywhere within the ecclesiastical province, or only within their own archdiocese?

According to the Usus Antiquior, the Extraordinary Form – call it what you will so long as you use it – the Metropolitan may celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Throne anywhere within the territory of his province.

He would normally not do so without informing the suffragan, the local bishop, out of respect.  You don’t just barge into to another bishop’s diocese and start doing things.

You can find answers to questions such as these in Alcuin Reid’s reworking of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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9 Responses to ASK FATHER: Metropolitan Archbishops and Pontifical Masses

  1. frjim4321 says:

    I can’t imagine the provincial presiding over the unreformed mass here without the approval of our ordinary.

  2. Imrahil says:

    The provincial (of the Jesuit order, or so)… no. The metropolitan… yes. After all, he’s still the metropolitan; it’s one of the few prerogatives a metropolitan actually has in law.

    Though as our Reverend host says,

    He would normally not do so without informing the suffragan, the local bishop, out of respect. You don’t just barge into to another bishop’s diocese and start doing things.

    Yet of course if you are a suffragan bishop, you don’t just object to your metropolitan doing such things, after being duly informed.

  3. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    I can’t imagine the provincial presiding over the unreformed mass here without the approval of our ordinary.

    It would never happen whether a priest, bishop, or archbishop was involved.

    Using the 1962 Missal the priest celebrates rather than presides. The word “preside” is sometimes used with regard to the Novus Ordo because it more properly reflects the Protestantism that often seems to accompany it.

  4. Archbishop Sample is our metropolitan. He can come and celebrate a Pontifical Mass at our cathedral whenever and as often as he wants, as far as I’m concerned.

  5. frjim4321 says:

    Anita, why don’t you save such pronouncements until you become the ordinary of your own diocese.

    [So unfriendly! My my.]

  6. oldcanon2257 says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I can’t imagine the provincial presiding over the unreformed mass here without the approval of our ordinary.

    If the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Chicago (Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.) duly informed the Most Reverend Edward Braxton (the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, a suffragan diocese in that province) that His Eminence intended to celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Throne (according to the 1962 Missale Romanum) in the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Belleville, I believe His Excellency would be more than happy to assist “in choro” at such Mass.

    Fr. Z, is it still the case that one of the few perks of being a cardinal is that by law the cardinal has the faculty of hearing confessions anywhere in the world? Just wondering if that privilege extends to space (e.g. International Space Station or any future habitable artificial satellite)? :D

  7. Gaz says:

    BYO Deacons?

  8. Imrahil says:

    There is something accurately called “presiding” w.r.t. the Exterior Form. It means sitting on the Throne (or faldstool) while another one celebrates.

    We might also say that who celebrates a Pontifical Mass “celebrates and presides” it, while a normal priest merely celebrates and does not preside.

  9. Uxixu says:

    I was fascinated to note the differences in a 1950’s edition of Ceremonies which I was reading in the LA Public library (they have two copies but they’re in the Reference section so I couldn’t check it out). I just received a 1920 Third Edition I bought off ebay. I already had the PDF from archive.org, but I love high quality and/or old physical books so this tickled my fancy. Spine has some damage but in decent condition for such an old book. I’m only really having it for reference on the timeframe of the 1920 when it came out as opposed to the early 1960’s rubrics.

    Ah, I can’t but sigh when I read Cardinal Bourne’s preface:

    “THE Catholic Church has surrounded all the acts of Divine Worship with a definite ceremonial to ensure on the one hand their due accomplishment, and on the other to safeguard
    the external reverence that should accompany them. She never employs ceremonial for the sake of the ceremony itself. Each separate rite has grown out of the twofold object that we have enunciated, even though in the process of time the origin, and the history of the development, of such rite may long have been forgotten.”