Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” to have plenary meeting

La Repubblica had an article that the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" will meet in plenary session tomorrow (12 Dec) to discuss the derestricting of the older form of Mass. Here is my translation of the article:

The Pope: Time drawing near for reconciliation with Lefebvre

Benedict XVI is narrowing the timeframe for the reconcilation of the followers of [Archbishop] Marcel Lefebvre. The Commission "Ecclesia Dei", instituted for this purpose by John Paul II, will meet as a matter of fact tomorrow in a first plenary session to discuss the question of the liberalizaton of the Mass in Latin [sic]. This is being reported by the French Catholic "I.Media", which made it clear that Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux and President of the French Bishops’ Conference has come to Rome to participate in the meeting. During their meeting, from 4-9 November the French bishops had expressed concern about the project to derestrict the Mass in Latin [sic] and "their attachment to the liturgy desired by Vatican II", even
reinforcing in a message to the Pontiff "their Communion" with Benedict XVI, e their desire "to open up to reconciliation in the truth and in charity."

We see here the usual problem of people who do not understand that the issue is not Mass in Latin, but rather the rite of Mass, the so-called "Tridentine" rite of Mass.

There might be nothing special about this meeting other than the fact that the President of the Commission, His Eminence Card. Castrillon Hoyos, no longer need split his attention between being Prefect of Clergy, and heading up "Ecclesia Dei". He can apply his good will and more energy to the Commission than he could before.

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  1. Leopold says:

    Tormorrow we are celebrating: Holy Mary of Guadalupe!
    Let us pray! For the motu proprio about the “Tridentine” Mass!!

    Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria,
    non esse auditum a saeculo,
    quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia,
    tua implorantem auxilia,
    tua petentem suffragia,
    esse derelictum.
    Ego tali animatus confidentia,
    ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio,
    coram te gemens peccator assisto.
    Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere;
    sed audi propitia et exaudi.

    Sancta Maria, Mater Ecclesiae – ora pro nobis!

  2. Paul says:

    Father, can you show us the tomb of St Paul, discovered recently?

  3. Paul: They would not give us a good digital image, alas. Sorry. If and when I get out there, I will see what I can do.  And is not that really a different topic than what this entry is about?   o{]:¬)

  4. Paul says:

    Sorry father, but I’m so so excited about the discovery of the tomb of my

  5. RBrown says:

    If the document is a Motu Proprio, then it seems the meeting would be just to inform the members of the commission of its contents, not to ask their advice.

  6. Paul Haley says:

    Three canons of the 1983 Code appear instructive here:
    “Can. 214 The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church.”
    “Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.”
    “Can. 371 §2. An apostolic administration is a certain portion of the people of God which is not erected as a diocese by the Supreme Pontiff due to special and particularly grave reasons and whose pastoral care is entrusted to an apostolic administrator who governs it in the name of the Supreme Pontiff.”
    So what is the problem? Is not the current crisis in the church a “particularly grave reason” and does not the Pope have the authority in that he possesses “supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church.” Frustrating, very frustrating.

  7. RBrown: It would be entirely proper to consult “Ecclesia Dei” before such a document and look for input.

    On the flip side, it could very well be that the Commission is actually going to be informed of changes that may be made to its structure or its mandate.

    I must remind you that this Pontifical Commission is set up “ad hoc“. Even Congregations are that, you might respond, but that transitory sounding addition was purposeful.

  8. Brian says:

    Is there any validity to this comment from another forum?

    By definition a plenary session is an official meeting with all members; Cardinal Ricard is a member.

    Whatever one thinks, this is some kind of ‘big deal’ since it is the first ever such meeting, the Commission having been in existance since 1988.”

  9. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Much has been said about a motuproprio coming directly from the Pope with no consultation.Much as I would like to see that, I have to admit it would be wrong for the Pope to act in this manner since the matter is more than “freeing” the older rite.It was on this bog that the complexities of the issue were revealed,the many questions that would arise.If any one were Pope I think he would consult a varity of people he trusted and ask advice.Remember-can you have altar girls,how about the other sacraments,can you celebrate a Tridentine nuptial mass for a mixed marriage couple,what about the calendar etc,etc,etc, .

  10. Tom Miller says:

    For myself, I think the subject of the Tridentine Mass is many many times more important than the question of SSPX. Agruably true that Lefebre “saved” this form of the Mass, but he and the ordinands committed a schmisatic act and have been excommunicated. Apparently they have been invited to return but have balked at the invitation. I’m sure Archbishop Malingo also feels he has been excommunicated unjustly as do the SSPX members. The issue is the form of the Mass, not the existence of a single order. They are welcome to return and that is desireable, but not necessary.

  11. Brian: First, the Commission must meet occasionally. That is simply reasonable. Second, the Cardinal President, now freed from his other duties as Prefect, can dedicate more time to the Commission. Third, there will certainly be a need for the Commission to be involved in whatever steps are taken in the Motu Proprio: it is reasonable therefore to consult and inform the Commission.

    A big deal? Yes and No. No, because of the above. Yes, because of the above.

  12. Paul Haley says:

    First, I believe it was said in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta that Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops he consecrated illcitly had excommunicated themselves using the words “latae sententiae” but the individuals concerned invoked the provisions of canon law stating a “state of emergency” existed and under the supreme law, the salvation of souls, they could not be excommunicated as they did not intend to separate themselves from the Holy See. Second, Cardinal Castrillon has said the SSPX and their bishops are not in schism but in a state called “not in full communion” – possibly an euphemism for doctrinal disagreements. Third, the masses celebrated by the SSPX are considered valid, though illicit, by the Holy See BUT an intended excommunication of the “Honolulu Six” by the Bishop of Honolulu, for attending SSPX Masses was revoked by the CDF under then, Cardinal Ratzinger. Fourth, the supposed motu proprio has been reviewed and revised already, several times according to media reports. It has been almost a scandal the manner by which traditional catholics have been led to believe it was coming only to have their hopes disappointed time and time again. So, I maintain that a meeting is not necessary and the Pope has the authority to do what must be done to solve this festering division within the church without further delay. However, if he wants the Ecclesia Dei meeting to lay down the law, so to speak, then so be it. This comment is submitted with all due respect and is not intended as direct criticism of anyone, least of all the Holy Father, but merely to signify the pain and the hurt the loyal, traditional catholics feel over their treatment with respect to the traditional rite of all the sacraments, especially but not limited to the Holy Eucharist. May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for us on this her feast day.

  13. FranzJosf says:

    Brian: I made that post in another forum.

    The point I was trying to make refers to the term ‘plenary session.’

    A plenary session is different from a regular meeting in that it is
    an official meeting, which includes all members, and has a particular
    point(s) of business. According to the press this is the first ever
    plenary session (not regular meeting) of the Comission.

    That is why I think it is some kind of ‘big deal.’ The first such session
    since 1988; I wonder what the poing of business is.

  14. dcs says:

    I believe it was said in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta that Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops he consecrated illcitly had excommunicated themselves using the words “latae sententiae”

    Yes, it was also the terminology used in Card. Gantin’s declaration which, unlike Ecclesia Dei adflicta, named Bp. Antonio de Castro Mayer in addition to Abp. Lefebvre and the four bishops consecrated.

    Regarding altar girls and the traditional Mass — saints preserve us!!

  15. AC says:

    Father Z, is there any news yet today about the meeting? Any word on whether it will allow the traditional
    sacraments as well? The Masses are there although not always easy to get to. We need the sacraments. That’s
    what’s really at stake here.

  16. FranzJosf says:

    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

  17. Argent says:

    Father, we’re all agog, of course, waiting to hear any news. But these commissions don’t really announce what they’ve discussed, do they? Whenever the Pope met with the heads of the dicasteries, the announcements were always terse: “We met. Period.”

  18. FranzJosf says:

    Here’s a rough translation of my post above. Translator unknown. It was
    posted at the Angelqueen forum.

    The publication of the Motu Proprio on the part of the Pope which will liberalise the celebration of the Mass in Latin according to the missal of Saint Pius V is close` Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, member of the Commission Ecclesia Dei which this morning met to discuss the liberalisation of the Mass in Latin confirmed this. ” We have studied the document calmly” the cardinal affirmed. ” We have discussed together for more than four hours and have made some corrections to the text of the Motu Proprio” The next move belongs to Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos ( president of the commission) who will present the text to Benedict XVI. Perhaps, added Medina, there will be another meeting of the Ecclesia Dei commission. Another member of the body, the Cardinal of Lyon, Jean Pierre Ricard did not want to make any comment, emphasising that he is “bound by the pontifical secret”

  19. Brian says:

    That is why I think it is some kind of ‘big deal.’ The first such session since 1988; I wonder what the point of business is.
    Comment by FranzJosf

    Thanks FranzJosf. I saw your post over there, but I have not yet seen any further commentary on the fact that this represents an historic meeting for Ecclesia Dei, the first time a Plenary Session has ever been called.

    That point alone, as you said, has huge implications in and of itself.

    Fr Z.,
    Thanks for the explanation and today’s news translation!

  20. AC says:

    More on the meeting. This says another meeting by Ecclesia Dei won’t be needed:

    Ecclesia Dei commission discusses papal document

    Vatican, Dec. 12, 2006 (CWNews.com) – 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.

  21. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    I just like the term “pontifical secret”. :)

  22. dcs says:

    I wonder why Card. Ricard is bound by the pontifical secret but Card. Medina is not.

    There is a better translation of the ANSA news dispatch over at Rorate Caeli:

  23. Paul Haley says:

    DCS wondered why Card. Ricard is bound by the pontifical secret but Card. Medina is not. Possible explanation: You make waves, Ricard, and you’re out of here.

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