Motu Proprio “soon”

I have been pretty tied up today with things like press conferences, a conference of the Acton Institute here in Rome, gett ready for a flight tomorrow and losing my glasses… so…. there is "Tridentine" news.

From the Italian agency ANSA, we have a comment from Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estevez, a member of the Pont. Comm. "Ecclesia Dei" that the Motu Proprio will be coming out soon…. "è prossima". They studied the document carefully and worked on it for 4 hours, making some adjustments. The President of the Commission Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will take it to the Pope when it is ready.

See, I told you all I needed to do to get the document going was to make plans for a trip away from Rome and, at 0600 tomorrow, I am on the airplane.

ANSA) – CITTÀ DEL VATICANO, 12 dic – ”La pubblicazione del Motu Proprio da parte del Papa che liberalizzerà la celebrazione della messa in latino secondo il messale di San Pio V è prossima”. Lo ha affermato il cardinale Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, membro della Commissione Ecclesia Dei che stamattina si e’ riunita per discutere della liberalizzazione della messa in latino. ”Noi abbiamo studiato il documento con calma” ha affermato il cardinale. ”Abbiamo discusso assieme per piu’ di 4 ore ed effettuato alcune correzioni sul testo del Motu Proprio”. La prossima mossa spetta al cardinale Dario Castrillon Hoyos (presidente della commissione) che presenterà a Benedetto XVI il testo. Forse, ha aggiunto Medina, occorrerà un’altra riunione da parte della Commissione Ecclesia Dei. Un altro membro dell’organismo, il cardinale di Lione, Jean Pierre Ricard non ha voluto fare nessun commento, sottolineando che ”è tenuto al segreto pontificio”.
da "Ansa", 12 dicembre 2006

UPDATE: It looks like everything was removed from ANSA, but it seems that I.MEDIA has it.

The UR-source seems to be I.MEDIA:

La publication du "motu proprio" – un acte équivalant à un décret pris par le pape – visant à libéraliser la célébration de la messe selon le missel de saint Pie V est proche. C’est ce qu’a confirmé mardi le cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, membre de la Commission Ecclesia Dei, qui a pour mission de faciliter le retour à la pleine communion ecclésiale des disciples de Mgr Lefebvre. …


The rest is the same as the Italian. 

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  1. Kurt says:

    Fr. Z,

    someone on another website is claiming that they cannot find this article on the ANSA website and that there is a mistake–Card Ricard is not the Cardinal of Lyon, but Bordeaux. I suppose the implication is that the whole article may be inacurate. Is there independant confirmation of this?

  2. Bede says:

    Catholic World News has a slightly different take – their source is I Media:

  3. AC says:

    there is another story, see below.

    BUT, Father Z, is there any mention of the sacraments? Most people can find the
    true Mass, but many of us cannot have the traditional sacraments because our
    so-called bishops forbid them. So we’re faced with either going to a SSPX chapel
    or not having the traditional sacraments. Do you know if they will be liberated
    in this along with the Mass?

    Ecclesia Dei commission discusses papal document

    Vatican, Dec. 12, 2006 ( – At a December 12 meeting, the Ecclesia Dei commission discussed a papal document that will broaden access to the traditional Latin Mass, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez confirmed after the Tuesday-morning session. The Chilean cardinal said that he expects Pope Benedict XVI to release the document in the near future.

    Cardinal Medina Estevez, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is a member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which was set up in 1988 to supervise Vatican relations with traditionalist Catholics. He confirmed that the group’s December 12 meeting was dedicated entirely to a discussion of a papal initiative that will allow more liberal use of the Tridentine rite.

    The cardinal told the Roman news agency I Media that the results of today’s discussions would be presented to the Holy Father by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (bio – news), the chairman of the Ecclesia Dei commission. He suggested that the Pope might then schedule publication of the document. Cardinal Medina Estevez indicated that he did not anticipate further discussion of the matter by the Ecclesia Dei commission.

    Vatican insiders expect that the papal document, widely expected to take the form of a motu proprio,will give priests permission to use the Tridentine rite—the liturgical form used throughout the Roman Catholic Church prior to Vatican II—without requiring the explicit permission of the local bishop.

  4. El Jefe says:

    I’m sure it was a slip-of-the-tounge, but in referring to the Tridentine Mass as the “true Mass’ does that mean that the NO and other non-Tridentine Masses are false? That’s getting into some deep and choppy waters…

    But, it would seem to me that if 1962 was allowed in general use, that would include administering the sacraments. I could be wrong, but I believe that St. Francis de Sales, an FSSP parish in Atlanta does all the sacraments 1962 style. I don’t see why others couldn’t do the same — provided a bishop cooperated for Confirmation. That could be tricky in certain places…

    In any case, lets not lose sight of the fact that this is GOOD news. Let us not allow the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  5. Paul Haley says:

    I would withhold judgment on the MP until we see the fine print, if there is any. But, on the surface it appears to be good news. One thing is for sure, the holy father knows full well the problems implementing the 1988 MP by Pope John Paul II and I’m sure he wants no part of that again. At the same time I am convinced he wants to show the SSPX there is no reason why they cannot practice the Faith in light of Tradition and in full communion with him. Again, I ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to pray for us who have recourse to Her.

  6. ThomasMore1535 says:

    The Ecclesia Dei Indult has ALWAYS included ALL of the sacraments in the Old Rite. When Archbishop Burke established the Institute of Christ the King in St. Louis, some individuals of bad will started to put out the rumor that this only included the mass, and that marriages, confirmations, etc., still couldn’t be celebrated in the Old Rite.

    Whoever’s idea this was made a BIG MISTAKE, because Archbishop Burke is without question the most highly trained canon lawyer that the United States has. Few people know about Canon law as much as he does, and not only did he immediately refute the suggestion that the indult didn’t include all seven sacraments, but he also wrote to Cardinal Hoyos to receive confirmation, and Cardinal Hoyos immediately wrote back says that that was correct, that John Paul the Great in 1988 very clearly intended the Indult to apply to all seven sacraments. I doubt it will be any different with the new indult.

  7. Brian says:

    “The Ecclesia Dei Indult has ALWAYS included ALL of the sacraments in the Old Rite.”

    Great info! Any links?

  8. ThomasMore1535 says:

    Can’t find any links, save for the fact that I regularly attend the Old Rite at St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, and the and Archbishop Burke has already conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation there in the Old Rite, all confessions are done according to the Old Rite, and all marriages are done according to the Old Rite.

  9. AC says:

    it doesn’t matter what Ecclesia Dei said, the basic fact is that unless you have the FSSP in your diocese, you probably don’t have the sacraments. At the indult masses in DC and VA, we have the basic Mass, but no sacraments. They will only give us what they have to. Now it’s time for a pope to act like a pope, stop the collegiality or whatever they call it, and tell bishops what to do instead of asking them what they want to do.

  10. Pingback: Domus Dei » Motu Proprio Imminent

  11. tim says:

    the archbishop burke/castrillon confirmation on all sacraments was origianlly published on renew america’s website, and i think was also posted at the una voce site

  12. stunted says:

    The complete interview with Archibishop Burke which mentions his correspondence with Cardinal Hoyos is here:

    The pertinent section:

    However, I did have some correspondence with Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, because a question was raised to me regarding the validity of the celebration of the other sacraments other than the Holy Mass according to the rites in force in 1962. Apparently, among some people somewhere, this question arose. They believed there was no permission to do this, and what is more, if a bishop or priest was doing this, that these celebrations were not valid.

    Now, as a canonist, and being somewhat versed in sacramental theology, I knew that this could not be possible because these rites were celebrated for centuries, and were valid celebrations. It could be that if the Pope had forbidden it, that it wouldn’t be licit. In other words, it wouldn’t be licit to celebrate those rites, but they would certainly be valid.

    Because this is something that is very important, and something we need to be very clear about, I wrote to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. He wrote me back a very encouraging letter, and he assured me that it was indeed the mind of the Holy Father that bishops be generous in permitting the celebration of all the sacraments in the former rites. So that question was answered for me.

  13. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    The indult parish in Richmond, Virginia (administered by the Benedictines), offers ll of the sacraments in the old rite.

  14. AC says:

    Yes, in Richmond. But if you live in DC/Northern VA, that’s a bare minimum two-hour drive with no traffic.
    A mother who just gave birth can’t be expected to drive two or three hours to have a new-born child baptised!
    And the child can’t be confirmed in a church that it is not a parishioner.

  15. AM says:

    And the child can’t be confirmed in a church that it is not a parishioner

    There are canoncial issues with confirmation in a different diocese, but none with confirmation (by the bishop) in a different parish church.

    (True: a priest, who needs special permission to confirm children, might have it only in respect of his own parishioners.)

  16. RBrown says:

    And the child can’t be confirmed in a church that it is not a parishioner

    There are canoncial issues with confirmation in a different diocese, but none with confirmation (by the bishop) in a different parish church.

    (True: a priest, who needs special permission to confirm children, might have it only in respect of his own parishioners.)

    I was confirmed in the Cathedral in Bourges, France. As far as I know, I only needed my Baptismal certificate.

  17. RBrown says:

    Following the sacrament, the chancery in France sent documentation to the US parish that furnished the Baptismal certificate.

  18. AC says:

    First, Cannon Law clearly states that the parish of jurisdiction pastor must give permission for another
    parish priest to baptise a child. That’s usually not difficult — in fact, most priests at the other parish
    won’t even requir it.

    The problem is having to drive two to three hours with a baby that’s a couple of weeks old just to get a
    traditional baptism.

    That’s why a larger indult means little if it doesn’t include the sacraments. And not just in interpretation
    but in the text that it clearly spells it out so that we’re not in the same situation.

  19. AM says:

    And that was I’m sure perfectly regular in every way.

    The “issues” I mentioned are 1, normally a priest cannot confirm outside his diocese; and 2, your bishop can prohibit your confirmation outside your diocese. (cf. CLC 887, 886)

  20. Is this the famous Italian “subito”?
    (Which apparently is much different from our American/Germanic concept of “subito”?) LOL.

  21. AC says:

    From Rorate Caeli. This seems like exactly what we have now! A bishop can’t stop it, yet a bishop can regulated it with the need of the diocese? That’s what we have now!

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006
    Some more information on yesterday’s meeting the exact same information provided by Cardinal Medina on the content of the plenary meeting of the Ecclesia Dei commission, but adds some new information:

    In the order of the day for the meeting was also a discussion on the juridical framework in which to place the Lefebvrists after their readmission into full communion with the Holy See.

    The debated questions were, thus, two. …

    Benedict XVI intends to extend the indult of his predecessor, in fact withdrawing from the bishops discretionary power on the matter: the Missal of Saint Pius V is no longer abolished, and even if the ordinary Roman Rite is that originated from the post-conciliar liturgical reform, the old one — used by centuries in the Church — can subsist as an “extraordinary rite”.

    The bishops, therefore, will not be able to deny the ancient mass anymore, but only regulate its eventual celebration, together with the parish priests, harmonising it with the need of the community. The corrections included would have reduced from 50 to 30 the minimal number of faithful who [may] demand the celebration according to the old rite. As for the readmission of the Lefebvrists, once the rite of Saint Pius V is liberalized, the deal should be easier.

  22. Dennis says:

    juridicial framework for SSPX also on Ecclesia Dei

  23. Brian says:

    From what I can piece together so far, it appears that a priest may offer a private Tridentine mass without any involvement from the local bishop, if the numbers of laity do not exceed an arbitrary number, 30 or 50 has been mentioned.

    If at least 30 (or 50) laity request a public Tridentine Mass in a diocese, then the bishop must comply and provide it. This new indult does not appear to be asking for a “wide and generous application.” It appears to dictate it, from the evidence so far.

    That gives the bishop the ability to “regulate” to some extent.

  24. AC says:

    Italian political party petitions for Latin Mass

    Rome, Dec. 13, 2006 ( – Italy’s National Alliance party is leading a petition drive among Catholics in the Liguria region, asking the bishops there to allow at least one Sunday Mass each week celebrated in the Tridentine rite.

    The National Alliance, concerned about the steady influx of immigrants from South America and Eastern Europe into Liguria, argues that the use of the 1962 Missal would be an effective way to help integrate the new residents into the region’s traditional culture.

    Formed by an alliance of the Italian Social Movement with members of the defunct Christian Democrat party, the center-right National Alliance has moved sharply away from its historical connection with Benito Mussolini’s fascist movement, and now frequently sides with Catholic Church leaders on public-policy issues.

  25. RBrown says:

    From Rorate Caeli. This seems like exactly what we have now! A bishop can’t stop it, yet a bishop can regulated it with the need of the diocese? That’s what we have now!

    No, it’s not what we have now. In the present situation a bishop can refuse a priest saying the old mass for 30 or more people.

    Further, a bishop or superior can presently prevent someone from saying a private mass using the 1962 missal.

  26. AC says:

    that’s only half true. yes, a bishop can stop a priest from saying a public traditional Mass. but no bishop
    can stop a priest from saying a traditional Mass alone, in private.

  27. dcs says:

    [N]o bishop can stop a priest from saying a traditional Mass alone, in private.

    I guess he can’t, but many priests won’t do it without permission anyway, even if they would like to.

  28. Brian says:

    “Catholic News Agency” finally broke the mainstream Catholic media blackout on the Ecclesia Dei meeting (two days later…):

  29. Uh, dcs, you might be surprised. Many young, foreign and more traditional (but mainline) priests are very eager to say the TLM. Remember that in some places, Latin has not been suppressed in the seminaries as it has here; and even suppressed languages can be learned like any other language, from a book. The better educated priests, esp. the religious order ones and the foreign ones, know several languages, one of which is often Latin.

    I notice the unevenness among the blogs of who’s reporting this progress too. Some of the younger very “mainstream” types seem quite uncomfortable with it as if they don’t know what to make of what they’ve never seen. It’s interesting.

  30. Brian says:

    “check it out…

    Google translation:

    Motu Proprio after Christmas, Apostolic Exhortation in January

    CENTRAL WRITING, 14 Dic. 06 (ACI). – Sources near the Vatican informed to ACI Press that the Motu Proprio through as Pope Benedicto XVI would grant the universal indulgence to the Misal of San Pío V could be published after Christmas; whereas the Apostolic Exhortation Post Sinodal on the Eucaristía would see the light in the middle of January.

    The sources confirmed declared to the press by the Cardinal the Jorge Medina Estévez, who recently participated in the meeting of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” – in charge of the dialogue with the Lefebvrista- schism, where reviewed the final rough draft of the text of the Motu Proprio.

    The indulgence would allow that the Mass of San Pío V is celebrated freely, without the present requirement that demands the explicit permission of the local bishop. The Motu Proprio, nevertheless, does not approach the canonical subject of the Society of San Pío X, the schismatic organization created by Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

    The Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucaristía, according to the same sources, already has been concluded by Pope Benedicto XVI and it is in process of translation to the diverse languages in which it will be presented/displayed.

    The text, that the light would see after the 15 of January, according to the sources, reaffirms “not” the married priests, impels the use of the Latin in the liturgical celebrations, and it even solicits that the seminaristas learn the use of this language.

    The text also would encourage to the recovery of the gregoriano song and sacred polifónica music in replacement of modern music; what would imply a gradual retirement of “inadequate” the musical instruments for the solemnity and reverence of the Eucarística Celebration.

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