Exhortation is out.

I was at the Press Conference for the release of the Post-Synodal Exhortation.  It is huge and complicated and I will need time to absorb it and figure out how to present it.

However, I can say that there is no mention of the "Tridentine Mass" in the document.  The exhortation does nothing to derestrict the older Mass. 

It does speak about Latin is strong terms and I was pleased at the references to Gregorian chant.

This exhortation, remember, is tied to the SYNOD’S propositions TO the Holy Father.  Therefore, the Pope, while expanding with his own thelogical innovations… and there are a few… he does not go into legislating changes or disciplines, etc.  

Thus, some of you who do not read these documents from a theological point of view will be disappointed.

I will get more into electrons later, but right now I am going to walk home, eat lunch and maybe even have a few winks before writing more.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dan Hunter says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    It has no teeth.Most parish pastors will not see this as any reason to back off from their liturgical abuse’s.Not to mention the bishops.Jesus hopes something effective will be issued presently.
    God bless you.

  2. Marc in Eugene says:

    I think it is a wonderful presentation of liturgical theology. If I am disappointed that it doesn’t speak explicitly to e.g. ad orientem, well, the Synod didn’t commit the exhortation to me to write. Expectations of a series of condemnations etc were simply not well-founded.

  3. JPSonnen says:

    Many thanks for the update/news, Father. On a different note, too, we were in Venice on Sunday for an Ambrosian Rite Mass. It was great and wish you could have been there.

  4. Jordan Potter says:

    You’re quite right, Marc.

    I’ve noted how very “Ratzeringian” this document feels. I can recognise the liturgical theology from The Spirit of the Liturgy, and some of the diction even sounds like the Pope himself. Could it be that this exhortation was delayed so long in part because the Pope wanted to write almost the whole thing himself (and it’s quite a lengthy document too)?

    Anyway, what little I’ve read of it so far is very good. I didn’t expect it to be a legislative document, because Apostolic Exhortations are not legislative documents, and I didn’t expect it to have anything about the Tridentine Mass or ad orientem, so unlike a lot of traditionalist types this morning, I certainly not crestfallen or heartbroken.

    But like I’ve said, I need to read the whole thing before I can comment on it further.

  5. Justin says:

    Well, I guess the prudent thing is to wait until we can all study the text. However, with all the speculation from “sources in the Vatican” about “ad orientem,” the option of using the old Offertory from the Tridentine Mass in the Novus Ordo Missae, etc. one wonders about any Motu Proprio from His Holiness really having any effect in the life of the Church. After all, if the big news of the Motu Proprio “frees” the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated “privately” by every priest, nothing really has changed. Many priests already celebrate it privately. Lastly, I love Pope Benedict, however, now that he is in a position to really make some positive changes to undo the damage of 45 years, why the delay? I am sure that the present document is full of all kinds of wonderful theological insights. However, like similar documents issued in the past by the Vatican, they often have little or no effect in the life of the average lay Catholic.

  6. Arieh says:

    This took 17 months???

  7. tradteach says:

    If anyone has a moment take a look at the footnotes of the document. They give some wonderful insight into the Holy Father’s thinking. Footnote 150 refers to an investigation about moving the “Sign of Peace” before the offertory. Other points of interest can be found there are well. Good Reading!

  8. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I am quite sure that Cardinal Mahoney considered the form of the Mass that was celebrated at his religious education conference to be exactly the supremely beautiful thing that the Holy Father recommends.

  9. Dan Hunter says:

    Leguleius Magnus,
    I agree.
    God bless you.

  10. Father Bartoloma says:

    Throw it on the pile. It doesn’t depart from or say anything that is not already stated in several other recent documents on the Liturgy. I didn’t expect anything overly revolutionary but it would have been nice to have at least a small speck of an acknowledgement about Mass “ad orientem”, and also an emphasis on the Latin language, not just for a pragmatic function at large international Masses, but as being somewhat integral and necessary because after all, it is the LATIN RITE. I only hope that the long delay in its realease was so that it would be timed as a kind of prelude to the Motu Proprio.

  11. Martha says:

    “…Footnote 150 refers to an investigation about moving the “Sign of Peace” before the offertory… ”

    This something about which one should get excited?? How much importance will a pastor put on the footnotes?

    And I see that inculturation will continue.

    Really, I can’t see how this document will even please those advocating the “reform of the reform.”

    I’ll continue to pray and wait for the Motu Proprio.

  12. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I cannot see where this will do anything to improve the Novus Ordo. Liberals will see this as confirmation that Latin is to be reserved ONLY for large international gatherings. I find the suggestion that there can be brief explanations prior to the Mass readings to be absolutely terrifying. Can you imagine what that will lead to in the typical American parish?! The Holy Father is too much of a nice guy. We need the same slash and burn liturgists that the left employed after V2. My last hope is the motu proprio.

  13. Boko Fittleworth says:

    How disheartening. Boring, really. Those who care already know this and those who don’t care won’t change because of this. I guess what we’ve learned is that good liturgy isn’t something one does, good liturgy is something one writes about. Pity. Would have been nice to have lived in an era when the doing of good liturgy, rather than the writing about the doing of good liturgy, mattered. But we have good medical care and cheap airfare and 100 channels, so….

  14. Dan Hunter says:

    If there ever is a Motu Proprio,it will be equally without teeth.
    I know at least a dozen priests who offer the Classical Rite of mass privately.this has always been allowed,so there will be no change in status for the Mass.Pastors will not allow it in their church’s.
    The pastor at the local novus ordo church put in the question and answer section of the Sunday bulletin a question from a parishioner asking if he will offer the Tridentine mass in his church.
    His response,in writing was,and I quote,”The answer to that question is a big,resounding NO!”.
    God bless you.

  15. Woody Jones says:

    A quick skim suggests this document has something for everyone: The Wanderer types will use it to bash their opponents; Opus types can take it to the oratory and pray about it until they are blue in the face; EWTN, the Legionaries, bishops Burke and Bruskewitz, et al., can cite it in homilies thus proving again their Romanita; the Remnant will see it as further evidence that nothing is being done about the Crisis; the SSPX will think they are justified in their conclusions that nothing has changed in Rome; and the feminists, modernists and other progressives running things in the Anglophone world will safely ignore it.

    And BTW: what does it say about the definition of “Living Tradition” if that concept includes Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV, as seems to be suggested?

  16. RBrown says:

    It has no teeth.Most parish pastors will not see this as any reason to back off from their liturgical abuse’s.Not to mention the bishops.Jesus hopes something effective will be issued presently.
    God bless you.
    Comment by Dan Hunter

    Who designated you to speak for Jesus? I thought BXVI was pope.

    I wrote last week that papal documents, esp. Exhortations, refer to general principles–not a list of things to be done.

  17. Leguleius Magnus says:

    At my parish, we have a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin, ad orientem, and we kneel for Holy Communion. A lefty complained to the diocese, and one of the bishops asked the priest in charge of the office of worship whether this was allowed. Can you imagine. Even the bishops assume at this point that anything that is somewhat traditional is probably forbidden.

  18. Victor says:

    Anyone who hoped the now-issued document would say something like “Well, guys, we all know the liturgical reform was a big nonsense, but it happened, so let’s make the best out of it” was quite illusional. Of course the reform was A Good Thing! And of course it was understood wrong in too many a parish. But now, if your pastor says he won’t have latin or gregorian chant in mass, you can take the exhortation and say “But father, but father! The Holy Synod of Bishops AND the Holy Father both expressed the wish to hear more chant and latin during liturgy!” Also, please read carefully the part about “active participation”. This document is full of goodies!

Comments are closed.