ASK FATHER: Bishops who forbid priests from saying Traditional Latin Mass

mass TLMFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I recently received a question concerning the Traditional Latin Mass. I was asked what can a priest do if his bishop stops him from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass because he dislikes the TLM or disagrees with Summorum Pontificum.

Is there a document that legally protects him and allows him to petition the Holy See?

Today seems an appropriate day for this question.

Yes, there is a document which protects such a priest: Summorum Pontificum.

Read it in conjunction with the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

A Latin Church diocesan bishop cannot override papal legislation intended for the whole Latin Church.  If he tries, a priest can have recourse – with the help of canon lawyer or not – to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (sending proofs, copies of documentation, etc.).

His Excellency
Most Rev. Guido POZZO
Secretary of the
Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei
Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio
00120 VATICAN CITY

A priest so treated must decide whether or not this is a hill that he would like to die on.  Keep in mind that a bishop can crucify a priest in a thousand creative ways.

That said, it could be The Good Fight that Father needs to fight.  We have to stand up to oppressors for the sake of a good cause.  And this is a good cause.

Use of the older form, the Traditional Latin Mass is a good thing for the priest himself. Even if he said it only in private, it would have a knock-on effect with all the people whom the priest serves.  Use of the older Mass shapes the priest.  Participation in the traditional Mass by congregations with such a priest has an even bigger knock-on effect.

Summorum Pontificum was a truly amazing, effective and timely gift to the whole Church.

Thank you Pope Benedict XVI.

Oh… and another thing….

In cases such as these, in addition – or in lieu of – recourse to the Holy See one could possibly have recourse to The Bux Protocol™.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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12 Responses to ASK FATHER: Bishops who forbid priests from saying Traditional Latin Mass

  1. JustaSinner says:

    “A priest so treated must decide whether or not this is a hill that he would like to die on. Keep in mind that a bishop can crucify a priest in a thousand creative ways.”
    What priest is worth his salt that WOULDN’T “fall on his sword” for this? First they won’t challenge a Bishop on Summorum Pontificum, then it’s allowing civilly remarried Catholics Eucharist, then heck, OPEN THE GATES here come gay marriages, women priests and gay and lesbian priests, the end of of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession to Catholics in the Arch Diocese of Dubuque) and it’s not the Body of Christ, it’s just a symbol of it…
    Fight EVERY good fight for the Evil never relents!
    Go to confession too!
    Pray the Rosary!
    Ask that God intercedes and allows the most forgotten soul in Purgatory the everlasting joy of Heaven.

  2. jaykay says:

    JustaSinner: “What priest is worth his salt that WOULDN’T “fall on his sword” for this?”

    I would think that a priest worth his salt would first and foremost have the long-term benefit of his people in mind, and that the muzzling/ censure/transfer that would fall upon his head by opposing his Bishop would likely not be for the good of his flock, who would be affected by his muzzling/censure/transfer – whatever. Better, I think, for him to accept it, bite the bullet, and reject the short-term gratification of a death-or-glory last stand, and just go on serving but in fidelity to the true teaching of the Church, even though his Lawful Authority be wrong. Many have had to do just that, St. Pio among them. Obedience.

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    A Bishop is monstruous if he seeks to suppress the Holy Mass.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    jaykay, hence the state of the Catholic Church today…go along to get along, bite the bullet, don’t make waves…sounds like the bricks on the road to Hell.
    Nice try hiding behind what is “good” for his flock. This old canard is more worn than St. John Paul II’s brown loafers from the ’80’s. What is best for his flock is standing for what is right. “A Latin Church diocesan bishop cannot override papal legislation intended for the whole Latin Church.” Canon Law is pretty clear on this; Bishops are not allowed to play fast and loose with Canon Law. Seems to me the priest is duty bound to call the Bishop on it; Jesus protects those that protect His Church. Can the Bishop make the priest’s life miserable? Yupper, but then as my Mother says, “Offer it up!” We all have our own personal Cross to bear.

    BTW, Ask that God intercedes and allows the most forgotten soul in Purgatory the everlasting joy of Heaven.

  5. Dear jaykay,

    Beautiful post. And totally in line with the Thomistic analysis of the just fight that I have given before in analogy to the just war.

    1. the fight must be winnable;
    2. the damage of the fight must be proportional to the harm that results;
    3. the fight must be defensive, that is against those forcing violations of morals or church law on the one fighting;
    4. the one starting the fight has the right to do it, that is, be a minister of the Church.

    If the individual has no public standing in the church, that means the initiator must approach the one to be corrected privately, then with other Catholics, and only then go to the authorities. See Our Lord’s teaching on “evangelical denunciation: Matthew 18:15-17.

    The sectarians among us would be very happy to see as many people as possible in the marginalized traditionalist sects that are proliferating today. They have no love of the ONE Catholic Church.

  6. Absit invidia says:

    Why would anybody want to become a diocesan priest these days with the ways bishops abuse their authority?

    [HUH? Why would anyone want to be a marine? Why would anyone want to be a mother? Why would anyone want to be a … fill in the blank? We have VOCATIONS which God knew before the creation of the cosmos. He brought us into this life at a place and point in time of HIS choosing and offers us HIS work to do. Why would a man want to be a diocesan priest? Because that’s how the man gets to heaven. Vocations are our path to heaven. Priests submit to ordination not just for the sake of others but also to save his own soul.]

  7. robtbrown says:

    Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    The sectarians among us would be very happy to see as many people as possible in the marginalized traditionalist sects that are proliferating today. They have no love of the ONE Catholic Church.

    From some of the comments of His Holiness, he seems to be in the sectarian camp. No surprise, that. With their inclination to univocal theology, Jesuits have a hard time holding the Church being Catholic and One at the same time. For hundreds of years it was the Oneness–and this produced Ecclesiocentric theology (what JRatzinger called Roman Theology).

  8. jaykay says:

    JustaSinner: I disagree, I’m afraid. Pick your fights, choose the ones you can win – or at least those where the collateral damage is minimised. And the collateral damage would most likely be, in such a case, inflicted on those who are left behind when the priest is moved, or silenced, and perhaps replaced by a… well, you know. Yes, as your mother (and mine) said: “offer it up”. What I mean by that is that a good priest is better to accept the Bishop’s unjust censure and remain faithfully in place, even though it be humiliating, rather than be cast out into the wilderness where he will be impotent. Which would be the intention. Sure, Bishops are not “allowed” to play hard and fast with Canon Law. When did that ever stop them?

  9. JustinNelson says:

    Before going to Just War we need to look at things more simply.

    What is the purpose of the priesthood especially the diocesan priesthood?
    To lead the faithful to sanctity through the worthy celebration of the sacraments.

    It all comes down to whether one believes that the Novus Ordo and the clown show it has become-intrinsically or accidetly-can do this.

    I was in formation for 8 years and left because I felt the answer to this question is no.

    It became apparent to me that to be ordained and part of the Novus Ordo was to become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

    To enter into such an arrangement was like entering into a marriage where one knew their future spouse wanted infidelity.

    Bishops demand much more than a suppression of the TLM.
    They demand:
    Rubrical abuses-so as not to upset the congregation.
    Extroidisnary Ministers of Holy Communion- who are unfaithful and often dressed in miniskirts,
    Sacrilegous reception-causing invalidity in many cases-of confirmation, confession, matrimony and last rights-again so as not to upset the (un)faithful.

    Even the best of Bishops out there now are unwilling to let a priest live out his ordination as the Church has always asked and demands that he do.

    A bishop who would do this would certainly find himself without a See.

    This isn’t anarguement between a greater and lesser good or stopping every evil. Those are prudential judgments.

    It is a question of participating in evil which can never be done.
    Priests now face the question of being part of the clown show so that they can do some good in a homily or in the confessional with certain people
    While that is a great and noble desire the price for it-the participation in the above mentioned evils-is never allowed.

    I

  10. JustaSinner says:

    JustinNelson, thank you…amazing answer!

    BTW, Ask that God intercedes and allows the most forgotten soul in Purgatory the everlasting joy of Heaven.

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