7 July Statement of the Bishops of Scotland on Summorum Pontificum

The Bishops of Scotland issued a press release when the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum came out.  Here is the press release.  I do not include the text of the MP.

My emphases and comments.

Scottish Bishops welcome publication of liturgy document

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Saturday 7 July 2007

Scottish Bishops welcome publication of liturgy document

Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have issued a statement following the publication in Rome earlier today by Pope Benedict XVI of an Apostolic Letter on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The text of the Bishops’ statement is shown below, followed by the text of the Pope’s letter.


Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
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Statement from the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland:

"The publication of the document on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 reflects the pastoral concern of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for those who find themselves drawn [Priests hear this phrase all the time in the confessional.  "I find myself doing…", as if the person saying it wasn’t really involved.  Folks: NEVER use this phrase when making a confession! This phrase is an obfuscation, a distancing of the user from reality.  On the other hand, I note with pleasure that the statement does not limit the motive of the Motu Proprio to those who are in questionable unity with the Church.] to that form of the Eucharistic celebration – a pastoral concern which the Bishops of Scotland share

The Bishops of Scotland also share Pope Benedict XVI’s concern about the unity of the Church. In both his writings and his statements the Pope has reminded us of the centrality of the Eucharist as the source of unity in the life of the Church. Writing earlier this year in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis the Holy Father says, “The fact that the one Eucharist is celebrated in each Diocese around its own Bishop helps us see how those particular Churches subsist in and from the Church.” (15).  [This is true.  Still…. One of the most significant aspects of Summorum Pontificum is the fact that it does not undescore the rights and authority of bishops.  Instead, it affirms the rights of priests and lay people.  While bishops are not an afterthought, while bishops do not have their legs cut out from under them, Summorum Pontificum is not about bishops.  That must be unsettling.]

In thanking the Holy Father for this most recent document, the Bishops of Scotland wish to note that since 1970 Catholics in Scotland have embraced the reform of the liturgy, with the same openness of heart as they had already begun to accept the other decisions of the Second Vatican Council.  [I have no knowledge of the Church in Scotland.  I do know, however, that people far and wide had little choice but to "embrace" the newer form of Mass… if they wanted to go to Mass.  The newer Mass, hardly called for by people in the pew, was imposed in a blow.] The Holy Father’s decision to issue this document is motivated above all by his desire to mend divisions where they have occurred and to prevent future divisions by helping to bring about “an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church”. [This is true.  However, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a bit clearer to put this in the positive and say "build unity and continuity"?] Echoing what the Holy Father says, the Bishops wish to point out that there is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal (1962 and 1970) and that they in fact demonstrate that in the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress but no rupture.

Having consulted widely throughout the Church before issuing this document and the norms it sets down, the Pope reminds bishops that each of them is moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese and has the responsibility to be watchful to ensure that all is done in peace and serenity. Bishops are invited to monitor the effect of the norms so that the whole Church[I wonder how that will take shape?] can be involved in an evaluation of them in three years time.

The Bishops of Scotland acknowledge this responsibility and intend to study the Holy Father’s document thoroughly to ensure that that its provisions are fully available to those Catholics in Scotland who may wish to encounter the mystery of the Eucharist through the form of celebration set out in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal.  [This is fair.]

The Bishops of Scotland pray that God will continue to bless our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in his ministry of love and reconciliation. We ask that the Blessed Virgin Mary will intercede with her Divine Son on behalf of the Church so that together with our Holy Father the Pope we will all be faithful and obedient sons and daughters of God as we carry out his will."

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