“… a sort of concession somebody made…”

Here is a moment both dismaying and amusing in a piece by the excellent CNS Rome correpondent John Thavis. As you know, the bishops of Canada have been completing their ad limina visits. The bishops of Western Canada were just recently in Rome. That’s the lead up to the good bit in the CNS article (my emphasis):

Canadian Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, Manitoba, told Catholic News Service Oct. 10 that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, head of the Congregation for Clergy, had spoken briefly to Canadian bishops about the expected step [i.e., expanding use the 1962 Missale Romanum].

"It sounded to me like it was a sort of concession somebody has made," the archbishop said.

Archbishop Weisgerber said the new indult was apparently motivated by a desire to bring comfort to older people who may miss the old rite. But in his archdiocese, he said, the few people asking for it are "young people who never experienced it."

Yes, Your Excellency, young people. This is a common experience through the whole world. Young people want the older form of Mass too. It never ceases to amaze me that the form of Mass which nourished countless souls for centuries and had the power to capture the hearts and minds of so many generations of our ancestors, in good times and bad, across hundreds of different cultures, should still have the power to attract young people. Amazing.

But the truly fun part of Mr. Thavis’s article was the comment that the possible future "ïndult" is just…

"… a sort of concession somebody has made … "

Ya gotta love that!

Using this a model, I wonder if we can come up with other versions or explanations for the expansion of the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum. Let’s see. How about this?

In regard to what the late Pope John Paul II did in 1986 and 1988: "… a compassionate gesture for the sake of care of souls that the sorrowing Pontiff commanded be extended …"

Well, I guess that’s just living in the past, right? How about this?

In regard to what the present gloriously reigning Pope Benedict XVI may eventually issue: " … a prayerful and deeply pondered course correction promulgated by the Vicar of Jesus Christ … "

I wonder if you can come up with your own versions??

(Be nice!)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Henry Edwards says:

    In regard to Pope Benedict’s generous response to heartfelt requests from bishops throughout the world that the Universal Church take definitive action to honor Pope John Paul II of fond memory, by realizing his fervent hope and constant dream that the incomparable heavenly graces that flow uniquely from the Mass of the Ages once again be made freely available to all faithful Catholics everywhere, …..

  2. Not only… imagine the joy in heaven at helping to heal so many people a take a step toward resolving the wound of schism.

  3. Boko Fittleworth says:

    In regard to B16’s forthcoming motu proprio: “the heavy-handed clampdown on the Spirit of Vatican II that the liberals warned us would be the result of a Ratzinger papacy.” Now, where are all the excommunications we were promised? Milingo is only a start, sort of an amuse-bouche.

  4. I know I am cynical, but here’s my stab at what the hard-line “traditionalists” will say:

    “This is all part of the Modernists’ nefarious plans to destroy utterly the true Mass. The faithful remnant, by refusing to join the Conciliar ‘church’ in its heresy and apostasy over to the side of the demons of hell, has snatched the true Mass from the toxic clutches of the crypto-Masons who occupy the seats of the pseudo-curia in Bablyon–that is, Rome.

    “Well, now that their triumph with the Novus Ordo is complete, how might they extend the hegemony of heresy over the last bastion of the true faith? Why, seduce unsuspecting traditionalists back into the embrace of the Modernist ‘church’ through their true love: the Liturgy.

    “Wait and see; all will seem well for awhile, it will be hands off, all to quiet any reservations on the part of those misguided souls who accept the invitation to the house of the prostitute. But mark our words: the Protestantizers will not be able to keep their hands off the one, true Mass. It is inevitable that they will begin tinkering with the Missa Eterna — oh, it will be minor things, and thoroughly unobjectionable . . . at first! Why not more Scripture? Why not a memorial to the anti-pope John XXIII? Why not change the date of a feast here or there?

    “It’s all part of a plan long hatched by our enemy, who has waited eons for the final destruction of the Church of Christ. Benedict is simply playing his nefarious role in this tragedy — DON’T BE FOOLED!”

  5. Fr Gregoire Fluet says:

    Fr Fox: would you believe that is already being said…was said a longtime ago when Pope Benedict was elected!

  6. Dan Arquilla says:

    “Archbishop Weisgerber said the new indult was apparently motivated by a desire to bring comfort to older people who may miss the old rite. But in his archdiocese, he said, the few people asking for it are “young people who never experienced it.” ”

    You know, “reaching the youth” has been the reason given for abandoning Latin, introducing pseudo-folk music, and all sorts of other innovations and outright abuses. So what makes a request for the Tridentine Mass by young people any worse than a request for guitar Masses and altar girls?

  7. Séamas says:

    Fr. Fox, and all,

    Check out:


    And read Altarboy’s comment about “real traditionalists.”

    While I can sympathize with many, even most, of their concerns, to jump off of Peter’s boat and tread water, all the while making demands and insisting you know better than Peter, the Apostles, and all who remain on the boat, is an extremely dangerous (and prideful) thing to do.

    “I saw Satan fall like lighting…”

    I prefer to look to the example of the saints, who endured many a crisis in the Church, some worse that what we are experiencing, and yet always remained within the Church. Saint Catherine of Sienna comes immediately to mind.

    We must continue to pray and cast out nets.

  8. Brian Day says:

    Wait and see. I think that reaching out to those who want the TLM is only part of the plan – and not even the main point. I have no facts to base this on, but I think that the motu proprio is geared to the Orthodox, not the traditionalists. The traditionalists are just a bonus.

  9. Brian: Yes, perhaps. It might be aimed at both! And, it might simply be “the right thing to do”, also.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think the document is probably geared toward two different things:

    First, to bring the Roman Rite out of the liturgical catacombs. This means that it will begin to exert an influence on liturgy in general.

    Second, because there will be no union with the SSPX until there is universal permission for the 1962 Missal, it will provide the means for the SSPX to be placed under a personal prelature. NB: The SSPX is not just a group of priests. Rather, unlike the FSSP, it has its own property–e.g., churches, schools, and religious houses.

  11. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    I much prefer Father Z’s assertion that it is just “the right thing to do”. I don’t care for, nor agree with, the assertions in the media that Papa’s actions are in response to a certain group or because of some other behind the scenes motivation. Now I am not so naïve to think that such reasons do not exist in the world, but I really believe Pope Benedict, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is just trying to do “the right thing”. If seems to me that if he (and we for that matter) just concentrates on doing what is right, then all the other “rough edges” will work themselves out on their own. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!


  12. Cathy Dawson says:

    I agree with Fr. Z and Stu. I’m sure the Holy Father knows that the faithful desperately need a return to the sacred in our worship. I used to belong to a parish with both the Tridentine rite and the new rite. For the past couple of years I have been living in a place where the nearest licit Tridentine rite Mass celebrated is 75 miles away and my circumstances make it impossible for me to get to it. While there are not liturgical abuses at my current parish, there is not the solemnity and sense of the sacred found at the Tridentine rite. For me it is very difficult to remember that I am at Mass. I know this is affecting my spiritual life and I believe it affects all of us. I would think that the Holy Father would want to see more celebration of the old rite because it is needed to bring about the renewal that was intended by Vatican II.


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