Motu Proprio “this year”, another rumor 14 July

KATH.NET reports that Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, the official spokesman for the Holy See, says that the Motu Proprio should be out "this year".

P. Federico Lombardi, der Pressesprecher des Vatikans, bestätigte am Mittwoch gegenüber KATH.NET, dass der Papst das Schreiben noch in diesem Jahr veröffentlichen wird.

Wien (
Vatikansprecher P. Federico Lombardi hat am Mittwoch in Wien im Gespräch mit KATH.NET bestätigt, dass das Motu proprio zur „Alten Messe“ durch Papst Benedikt auf jeden Fall kommen wird. Angesprochen auf die Frage des Termins meinte Lombardi, der genaue Zeitpunkt sei noch nicht bekannt; die Veröffentlichung sei jedoch für dieses Jahr zu erwarten.

Über die Veröffentlichung des Schreibens gibt es seit Monaten Spekulationen. In den letzten Wochen haben bereits hochrangige Kardinäle des Vatikans bestätigt, dass ein Motu proprio kommen wird. Darin soll festgehalten werden, dass jeder Priester die Heilige Messe auch im tridentinischen Ritus feiern darf.

Meanwhile, on, a news instrument in St. Louis, MO, where the Institute of Christ the King is about to have their ordinations, we find this tidbit:


Vatican watchers say the decree could be released July 14, the date, in 1570, when Pope Pius V published the liturgical text that would be used to celebrate Mass for the next 400 years — until the reforms of Vatican II.

Let’s just say this.  I am a Vatican watcher.  I know Vatican watchers. No Vatican watcher I know is saying that. 

At the same time, if thing doesn’t come out by the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, we might as well drink the Veuve we have chilling now and then buy another bottle sometime at the beginning of September and start the clock again.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Fr. D says:

    Fr. Z,

    Pop the cork on the Veuve. I think it’s going to be a while.

  2. Mr Neutron says:

    Yep. Pop the cork. I have the 7th bottle of Chimay trappistenbier in the fridge; the other 6 are history. In fact number 7 probably won’t make it past this weekend…

  3. Fr. D: Ja, kann sein.

  4. Theodoricus says:

    Fr. Z,

    My bottle of Veuve is standing in the fridge for a month now. That’s not very good for the Champagne. I’m going to drink it now with my friends and our Father Knudsen (FSSP). The MP will come this year so why don’t we start feasting now?? The MP is a great and important document. That needs to be celebrated properly!

  5. Father Bartoloma says:

    Fr. Z, I agree 100%. I can’t imagine anything coming out in the middle of the summer like that. (Although my 31st B-Day will be on July 16th so I know what right of Birthday Mass I’d be offering!) If there’s nothing within the next couple of weeks I’d guess that there will be nothing until at least the Fall. But what do I know? I’m just a Vatican watcher watcher!

  6. Theodoricus: A good idea. You are right: vibration is very bad for all wine but especially sparkling wine. I say drink up. Perhaps we WDTPRSers out to buy stock in “The Widow”? Hmmm…

  7. Fr. B: I am sure it will be a worthy occasion. Would that I could journey to join you. Then your folks there could watch you watching the watcher watch you.

  8. GFluet says:

    Well I have a bottle of Dom Perignon, 2000, and it will wait, and since I have been waiting nearly 38 years, a few months, or a year, won’t be that bad. Fr Fluet

  9. Fr. Aloisius says:

    why not tomorrow?

  10. Jon says:

    Since I can’t import Edvard Munch to the combox, let’s just say…hands’s on side of head, ready, set,


  11. Brian Mershon says:

    Roman time is in decades and centuries. My children grow up in real time.

    On the one hand, the delay will keep it in the news for a much longer period of time, which is good for preparing the Catholic laity and priests.

    The bad news is that it took nearly 15 years after the 1988 indult for my diocese to have a QUARTERLY Traditional Latin Mass. How much longer will it be for parishes and dioceses to have a regularly-scheduled Tradional Latin Mass after this document is issued this year (decade, century)?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite excited and happy, but my children live in real time, not Roman time.

  12. Kurt Poterack says:

    “I can’t imagine anything coming out in the middle of the summer like that.”

    But Humanae Vitae was issued in late July, or was that a different sort of document?

  13. Important documents do come out in the middle of the summer.The long delayed and much anticipated Humanae Vitae came out then.However I believe,with due respect to the Holy See ,that they are beginning to look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.I guess Rome has always been slow (festina lente)but this Pontificate has a new twist-they announce and nothing happens.As regards the MP we have heard since last December-subito,imminent,shortly,within a few days-from high ranking Curial officials and we have heard “in May” and “this month”(i.e. May) from the Holy Father! Then before this there were the statements of the imminence of the Exhortation which was not imminent.Then there is the letter tothe Chinese church which they told us would be out in January and then they said Pentocost,-but where is it? Who is in charge? Maybe they should not say anything and just release documents when they are ready.According to one news report this has become a joke among the Vatican news corp,some saying that Pope Benedict has given a new meaning to the word “soon”.Then there is the daily in the consistory.The guy at Whispers says his sources say that there is concern among Vatican people about the “inertia” of this present Pontificate.Fr.Lombardi has tried to address this issue but it doesn’t help when he adds one more date and announces that the Pope is working on another volume of his book! Pope JPII travelled a lot instead of staying put and administering the church (his travels did help the church immensely) and now Pope Benedict is writing.Perhaps (this may be heresy) we need an American Pope to get things done.On the other hand the church has survived 2000 years,but could not we go a little faster?

  14. Father (Don't want to give my name on this one) says:

    Brian Mershon:
    I agree with you. We shouldn’t think that just like the poor souls who walked into their parish churches on different Sundays in the 60’s and one week the priest was suddenly turned around, the next week the last Gospel was gone, the next Latin had vanished, etc – that Catholics, traditional or not, will experience that kind of instantaneous metamorphisis. Priests who want to say the TM will have a great advantage and if they know it, or half know it, or can teach themselves or learn the rites quickly they will win in this sense. If such a priest is a pastor or has a pastor over him who is foreward-thinking and kind, good things also can happen in perhaps the not to distant future.

    However, as anyone who is involved in putting a TM together knows, it is extremely laborious and detailed work, everything from the ceremonies to the music to the familiarizing of the people is involved and this does not take place “in the twinkling of an eye.” And also, hearts do not change as fast as liturgical law. Many if not most bishops and pastors are and will continue to remain sometimes skeptical and sometimes hostile to the traditional rite.

    BUT… Consider this factor: The priest shortage might just be a bit of a “felix culpa” here because with fewer priests, the ones who are made pastors are younger, more orthodox and yes, frequently desirous to offer the TM and also MAKE PROACTIVE EFFORTS TO INTEGRATE IT INTO PARISH LIFE. The ideal is NOT that the TM is reduced to being something tolerated in traditionalist ghettos, but rather that has a context in parochial life.

    Other circumstances too should make us hopeful for such an acceptance; even the delay in the MP keeps the cause very much alive in the press, both secular and Catholic. Every week, other than rumors, there are quaint “human interest” stories on Latin Mass communites and for the most part, they usually seem to be respectful and positive. These stories ALWAYS highlight the noticable presence of young persons and young families, in contrast to the comments of some bishops in interviews where they still ONLY see the TM as an SSPX issue or, even more absurdly, as something for senior citizens who never got over the changes from the liturgical “renewal”

    I don’t forsee instantaneous changes, but I think that when you factor in some of these things, the TM might just more quickly find its nitch and become an acceptable and AVAILABLE liturgical option faster than we might have initially expected.

  15. Brian says:

    Comment by Brian Mershon “The bad news is that it took nearly 15 years after the 1988 indult for my diocese to have a QUARTERLY Traditional Latin Mass. How much longer will it be for parishes and dioceses to have a regularly-scheduled Tradional Latin Mass after this document is issued this year (decade, century)? Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite excited and happy, but my children live in real time, not Roman time.”

    Ain’t that the truth.

    And my local bishop has stated unequivocally that the TLM is only to bring back Lefebvrists, and since there are none here, there will be no TLM here, even following any Motu Proprio.

    And this joker has over three years left till retirement. We still don’t know whether the Motu Proprio will trump these intransigent bishops, and even if it does so in writing, how that will turn out in practice.

    Meanwhile, my children also are growing older, and I’m growing older, and impatience grows larger with age.

  16. Dan says:

    July 14 is also Bastille Day. I can think of no better way of celebraing Bastille Day than with the motu proprio — take that French Bishops and secularism!

  17. Jon says:


    That’s IT!

  18. Brian: but my children live in real time, not Roman time.

    A poignant comment.

  19. rk says:

    If authority is given to celebrate the 1962 rite by the pope, a bishop cannot overrule him. (this of course depends on the sort of permission and other such things, but it “sounds” like it will be a more general blanket permission.)

  20. Rose says:

    Would anyone know for sure how long it was between the lst press rumours about the letter regarding the admission of persons to seminaries and when it was officially released? I remember thinking that was a long time but that might be the measure of how long these things take. And the encyclical? How long did that take between
    completion and release? My other question: would anyone know for sure if Fr. Lombardi had ever, before today, mentioned the MP? I ask this because it appears that we have been at a fever pitch of anticipation because of statements from so many unofficial sources (of varying degree of credibility) but they are all unofficial-even Cardinal Bertone’s comments can be considered unofficial.

  21. schoolman says:

    Brian Mershon raises a valid concern for us dads — our kids are growing fast! Yet I can’t help but think the Holy Father would not postpone the MP without good reasons that only he knows. In any case, I am happy to hear a solid timeframe from the Vatican Spokesman.

  22. John Topolosky says:

    Father Z., How about July 11, on the feast of St. Benedict

  23. John says:

    I just got out of a meeting with our new, “conservative,” young, priest. He wants to introduce Praise and Worship and get rid of kneeling after communion and only genuflect once during the Eucharistic prayer. Our Archbishop has little sympathies toward us traditionalists. It’s one thing to tell me “patience, patience, patience” and its another to experience what I do. I feel like the unwanted stepson in my own Church. I’m so angry and disheartened at the same time.

  24. I can really feel the despondency of those who want the TLM not just for themselves but for their children.Impatient?I believe they are the models of patience and long suffering.This undue delay only makes these people despair.The MP is not being held up,nor is it being frustrayed by anti-traditional forces .That is all behind us.It is written.It is signed.It is inevitable (provided Benedict lives long enough to publish it).It is just stuck in the Vatican machinery as it plods along.Given the competency of some translators i.e. translators into English,it might be a long plod.Those who love tradition are used to being ignored,attacked,walked over,ridiculed.But I would surmise that their patience is wearing thin with this ridiculous delay.I understand that JPII signed the encyclical Veritatis Splendor (or another encyclivcal)in January and it was released in October. Father Anonymaous comments are on the mark.The TLM must not be a museum piece or relic but a vibrant part of the parish’s liturgical worship.

  25. Tim Hallett says:

    Much like the reason I gave for why I took my family to The East “I have two little ones. The MP will come someday, but this Sunday will not wait.”

  26. Justin says:

    Well, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul on 29 June would be a great day for the Pope’s letter to China, and the Motu Proprio. However, I agree, if the MP is not out by then, as they used to say on the Sopranos, “Forget about it!” At least until next October when everyone gets back to Rome.

    Then we can start the guessing game all over again. May be it will be the Feast of Christ the king? Perhaps the first Sunday of Advent? Gaudete Sunday? Maybe Christmas? The Circumcision perhaps? How about the Epiphany? Ash Wednesday? On and on, again and again, per tutti i secoli dei secoli……

  27. Paul Haley says:

    For Fr. Fluet,

    We are with you, Father, all the way from Colorado Springs, CO, and we hope to attend your Mass at St. Bridget’s in Moodus when we reach CT for a vacation with the St.Germain family. You have waited 38 years and we have waited at least that long and longer but you and many priests like you have kept the Traditional Mass alive for us who know no other way to worship from our youth. God bless you and keep you in His care. The Haleys from Colorado are on their way and we pray you will keep us in your prayers as we travel the highways and byways of our land.

  28. David says:

    All I have is a bottle of MD20/20 in the firdge for the big day.

  29. Fr. John Pecoraro says:

    I brief question, when does the Holy Father Summer vacation begin? Over at Rorate there is a mention of it being released before the Holy Father’s vacation at Castel Gandalfo.

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