Il Tempo: Motu Proprio next Monday

The Italian daily Il Tempo has published an unsigned article claiming in the headline that the Motu Proprio will be issued next Monday, 16 April, after the celebration for the Holy Father’s 80th Birthday.

Here is the article from Il Tempo in my translation (emphasis mine):

The long-awaited Motu Proprio next Monday
Mass in Latin: Tradition returns

The long-awaited papal "Motu Proprio" on the recovery of the pre-Conciliar Mass in the Latin has been ready for a while, but its publication, foreseen at first for before Easter, will slide instead for after 16 April (slitterà a dopo il 16 aprile), the day of the 80th Birthday of Benedict XVI.  So indicate reliable sources in the Vatican.  The document, written by the Pope himself, will restore the possibility of celebrating the Mass in Latin with the Tridentine Rite.  That is not to say that this Rite is forbidden: but there are so many and so complex burocratic obstacles and approvals to obtain from local bishops that most of the faithful to whom it would be a pleasure to return to the feel of things as established by the Council of Trent, that they give up.  The Motu Proprio – according to the previews that have surfaced in the last months – would permit the celebration of Mass in an almost automatic way, if it is requested by a certain number of people.  The Tridentine Mass in Latin is the only one accepted by the followers of the deceased schismatic [sic] Bishop Marcel Lefevbre and the pontifical document would without question reopen the way for a repair of the break that occured in the ’80s of the last century.  The French bishops, guided by their president Jean Pierre Ricard, aren’t hiding a certain discomfort in the face of losing control over their liturgical capital, still burning in France, the following of the Lefebvrite community of St. Pius X is strong.  There are many French priests who refuse to celebrate in Latin.  Specifically to smooth the perplexity of the episcopacy on that side of the Alps, the publication of the Motu Proprio was delayed several times.  On the other hand is evident that the return of a spirituality more closely connected to the millennial tradition of the Church is one of the central point of this Pontificate: even in the post-Synodal Exhortation on the Eucharist a greater use of Latin and of Gregorian chant was wished for.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007


I will point out something important.

The headline says 16 April.  The body of the article suggest that it may be after 16 April.  There is a slight hedge here.

However, I think we are getting somewhere.

Notice too that the article falls into the trap of focusing mostly in the language and Gregorian chant.  The newer form of Mass can be celebrated in Latin and with Gregorian chant.

However, the – let’s call it what it is – brainwashing is now nearly so complete that no matter how many times and how clearly people who actually know something may write or say it, the common perception is (myopically) that "Latin Mass" = "pre-Conciliar Mass".

This myopic view is damaging to everyone.

Remember: this is not about winningThis is about the good of the Church.  Getting this right requires that we understand where all the pieces fit and what their functions are. 

Latin, chant, all the trimmings, the two rites – these things are are all intertwined.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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