Indults and rumors of indults

In Catholic World News there is an article on Vatican and traditionalists: rumors continue  In that article you read:

For the past month, a recurrent rumor at the Vatican has been that Pope Benedict will issue a motu proprio allowing the universal use of the 1962 Roman Missal. (The use of the old rite is currently allowed only with the approval of the diocesan bishop, under the terms of the 1988 papal directive Ecclesia Dei, from which the Vatican commission draws its name.) Reports have also suggested that the Vatican is prepared to lift the decrees of excommunication against the SSPX leaders. And there have been reports that the Holy See could create a new ecclesiastical unit, an apostolic administration of personal prelature, for the pastoral care of traditionalist Catholics.

The Holy Father could wind up doing something simpler and issue a major document.   The Pope could make a statement that the older form of Mass was never abrogated.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. How about this possibility? Just do it. Don’t complain about not being able to say the old mass. Just say and serve it. The old mass has the option of being said privately. Do so. It also appears that “the mass was never abrogated.” Fine. Exercise your private option to serve the mass. The Irish did not ask permission of their English oppressors, they said the Mass instead.

    How do you promulgate the old Mass? Priests can quietly say to people whom they
    trust that they are privately saying the old Mass, and if they like, they can assist in
    that Mass.

    Be honest. If the old Mass is a valuable thing (in fact, the most valuable thing)
    then it should be done.

    And if you cannot find a priest with the heart, the guts, and the cojones to
    serve the old Mass in the face of persecution, then you can download or purchase
    the books with the old Hours, and say them privately. Households used to provide
    for themselves hand calligraphed copies of their own Books of Hours. Why not now

    And if you don’t know Latin, then google and download the free course on Latin which you
    can find at the Latin Mass Society of Britain and Wales, and which is entitled

    I figure that it is better to light one small stick of dynamite than to curse the silence,
    or something like that.

    And could Fr. Z fix the comment box so that one doesn’t have to hit ‘return’ in order
    for a commenter to see the comments which he or she is writing.

  2. Bernard: In answer to your question, “Nope. Not right now at least.” Sorry, I will have to figure out have to do that first.

    Also, your wrote: “The Irish did not ask permission of their English oppressors, they said the Mass instead.”

    I don’t think this is a very good analogy.

  3. Jeff says:

    As the loving pastor of the universal Church, I’m sure our Holy Papa is trying to put forth a solution that doesn’t harm the flock entrusted to his care. From what I’ve read, the pope is very serious about bringing the Society of Saint Pius X back into the fold. Step one towards that goal has to be to allow the Tridentine liturgy to be said by any priest who desires to do so. Along those same lines are the traditionalists that have remained faithful to Rome and because of their love for the ancient rite, are treated like second class citizens. Pope Benedict is very aware of this situation also. On the other side, how do you grant universal approval for the old Mass without a bishop’s interference and not have dioceses running a muck. I continue to pray for our beloved pope. I might add, though, I don’t buy into the argument that the Latin rite can’t have two liturgical rites. Why not! The Eastern side or the other lung has multiple rites.

  4. Jason says:

    According to The Council of Trent and Quo Primum, the Catholic Mass (now called the Traditional Latin Mass) can never be replaced or forbidden, and no other mass can be forced upon anyone.
    For more about this see:

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: In regard to the first question, are you suggesting that a priest does not have the right to celebrate the old Mass privately? Or even that there’s some doubt about it. If so, think about what an extraordinary state of affairs this is. Can you cite anything else that as a priest you are not permitted to do in private? If not, does this really mean that nothing can be imagined that’s worse than celebrating the Mass that most Catholic priests celebrated for well over a thousnd years? Nothing at all?

    In regard to the second question, I agree that the analogy is imperfect. For instance, I suspect the damage the Church has done to the souls of faithful Catholics in the past 40 years may far exceed anything the British did to Irish Catholic souls in any similar period of Irish history. As Fr. Neuhaus quoted somewhere recently, we live in an era when “Catholics suffer more fromfor it”.

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    Correction: As Fr. Neuhaus quoted somewhere recently, we live in an era when “Catholics suffer more from their Church than for it”.

  7. Tyrell says:

    I believe that quote from Fr. Neuhaus is originally from Flannery O’Connor, and it’s probably a an old sentiment. Back to the original point, I’ve wondered lately about a priest saying the Mass privately, and I’m curious about the good padre’s opinion. My biggest issue is one of obedience; shouldn’t we be concerned about that as well?

  8. Norman says:

    It is my understanding that Quo Primum was a disciplinary document, not a dogmatic one. After all, Quo Primum allowed other rites to remain in use. No Pope can bind his sucessors on disciplinary matters, can he?

  9. Jon says:

    This past Saturday I was witness to one of the most outrageous examples of liturgical abuse I have ever seen. Ironically,
    it took place in an exquisitely preserved, very historical church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. It was the first Communion
    Mass for a godson of my wife and I. The Mass was celebrated by the pastor, with two other priests concelebrating.
    Without elaborating on the painful details, here’s the list:

    A joke before the Sign of the Cross. Joking explanations of each part of the Mass.

    Children invited behind the altar during Eucharistic prayer.

    After Sanctus and before Eucharistic prayer, congregation instructed to “sit or kneel, whichever you want.”

    Children leaning, with elbows, on the altar during Consecration.

    Pauses for jokes THROUGHOUT Eucharistic Prayer (I’ve seen a lot before, but never this) – at least four times.

    Precious Blood consecrated in glass pitcher a la Mahony, and later elevated by concelebrating priest in pitcher.

    Hosts elevated by altar servers at Doxology.

    Children prompted to join in Doxology.

    Mass described constantly as “meal,” “dinner with Jesus,” consecrated species described as “bread” and “wine.”

    Children told “It doesn’t matter if you forget to hold this hand or the other on top for Jesus…it doesn’t matter if
    you forget to say ‘Amen.’ Don’t worry about it” prior to reception.

    Entire congregation instructed to “please hold hands” at the Our Father.

    Libera nos after Our Father ended, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power…OOPS! That’s the Protestant version, isn’t it?
    But that’s okay! Protestant or Catholic, it really doesn’t matter! Your mom and dad know that! How forgetful of me!”

    More jokes before and after final blessing and dismissal.

    Now, this morning. I went to Mass at my home parish, where the parochial vicar celebrated sans chasuble, vested only in an
    oatmeal colored alb and rainbow colored stole. Opening and closing hymn courtesy of Dan Schutte. Joke just before final blessing, “There’s a feast we celebrate here at St. BLANK, that they celebrate nowhere else, it’s called “The Feast of the Unclaimed Plants.” We celebrate it twice a year, once for the Christmas poinsettias, and again today, for the Easter lilies. Please help yourself to one of these, lest they become orphans.”

    Yesterday, Sunday, as always, my family and I attended the diocesan indult Mass, celebrated, as always, by a priest of the
    FSSP. None of the above happened there. None of the above will EVER happen there.

    How long, O Lord…?

    Holy Father, no more rumors, please. Indult subito!

  10. Henry Edwards says:


    What’s so disheartening about outrages like the one you describe is that no one knows how to put an end to them. (At least, I don’t.) Short of judicious but generous application of the Rite of Degradation of a Bishop, which (unfortunately) we’re just not going to see to see. Or something equally impossible, like the Pope simply declaring the whole wretched experiment at an end, as in your favorite piece of fiction and mine,

    I Had A Dream

    We can’t go home again. We have to start where we are. So where do we go from here?

    Anyone: Suppose our Holy Father asked you to suggest a one-page motu proprio for his immediate signature, to put a stop to the current disintegration of the normative liturgical rite of the Western Church. What would you say?

    I mean, to stop it NOW. Not merely to put into place a reform of the reform that might (or might not) do it’s job in 10 or 20 years, at another 10 million souls down into the pit each year. Is there, in fact, anywhere to go from here?

  11. Jon says:


    Hmm…some softball. If I were King of the Forest, I couldn’t say it any better than Gregory Leo Pius; but I’m not. Neither,
    I’m afraid, is Benedict XVI.

    I’ve thought a lot about this since Saturday. I’m blessed to live in a half-way decent diocese with a good man for bishop. The juvenile assininity I beheld in Maryland is virtually (key word) non-existent up here. But even here I’m baffled to think how the typical parish can be restored to Catholic belief and praxis without losing 80% of each congregation. With capable and holy priests, it may be possible, but it would take the direct, agressive, no-nonsense approach of your dream pontiff. Unfortunately, I think there are few such priests to be had. The vast majority of them, per our 1st HC pastor,
    need deprogramming as well.

    Last week Pope Benedict asked that we pray that he be the “gentle and firm shepherd” of his flock. Gentle is so easy and appealing. To right the Barque now however I believe he’ll need the firmness of both a Pius X and a Pius XI. I’m not sure he has it. Neither am I sure that any other prelate, short of our man in Lincoln, and he’s not a cardinal, has it. I think that the very best he can do is what he’s spoken and written about so far. The reform of the reform, with hopefully his own version of the Novus Ordo, and free and wide – and here I mean free and WIDE – use of the 1962 Missal, along with a return to the public (forget behind the curtain gentility) tenacity of Cardinal Ratzinger, might get close to doing the job.

    As you say, though, we can’t afford the perennial bleeding of the “pastoral approach.” We need to stop this tragedy NOW. Something must be done TODAY.

    Indult subito!

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