Bp. of Salt Lake City on Summorum Pontificum

The Bishop of Salt Lake City has issued a statement about the MP.  My emphases and comments.

Response to "Summorum Pontificium"

by Bishop John Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake City

I am very touched by the fact our holy father Pope Benedict XVI is a man of great charity and compassion. It is through the context of his first encyclical, "God is Love," that I see him reaching out with his latest motu propio, "Summorum pontificium," to ensure the unity of the church, especially in the celebration of its sacraments and in particular the Eucharist which is the source and summit of our unity. This permission to use the Tridentine Rite of 1962 is yet another expression of the Holy Father’s desire to allow all of the faithful to participate [Yes, people participate at the older form of Mass.  This is exactly right.] in the celebration of the Eucharist.

I am grateful to the Holy Father for his pastoral concern and the emphasis to the unity and charity of the Body of Christ.

I take note that Pope Benedict has outlined very precisely and carefully the nature of this permission and how it is to be implemented. I find his directives to be very helpful.

The great grace of the Eucharist is that we come into the presence of almighty God who is truly present in substance in the Eucharistic meal. Our God is so loving and so of us that he wants to be present to us in the great celebration of the Eucharist. The permission given in the motu propio allows the use of a very sacred ritual that is yet another pathway to approach that great mystery.

+ Bishop John C. Wester
Diocese of Salt Lake City


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  1. Fr Arsenius says:

    I am glad to see that at least one bishop (Trautman, Erie) desires to assure the Latin proficiency of those priests who will offer the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the extraordinary form.

    I wonder if His Grace is as solicitous about his other priests, as well as his seminarians – regardless of which form they will follow. Proficiency in Latin is still required under Canon Law of all seminarians before they begin their studies in theology.

    I suspect, however, that His Excellency’s test of Latin proficiency for priests celebrating according to the extraordinary form amounts to little more than a self-serving, double standard. I could be wrong.

  2. whoah says:

    To require a priest to pass an exam is a bit pedantic, in my opinion. I like Fr. Z’s suggestion: why not offer training to any priest who desires to say the TM?

  3. michigancatholic says:

    I think making a priest pass an exam is silly, excessive and insulting. I wonder if the test will be one of those “literacy tests” like they used to give blacks in the American south to keep them from being able to vote? I wonder what awful thing they will have to “translate” that the bishop can’t even read?

  4. Chris Dowling says:

    Sorry to see the glass half-full, but it appears to be business as usual with most of the likely suspects within the USCCB.

    Bottom line, 1. We have a manpower problem, latinistas. Wake up !! 2. We already gave at the office back in ’88 when that JPII fella issued his MP. (and, yes, we did give a “wide and generous” application to Ecclesia Dei. We gave you one Sunday Mass at 7:00 AM at St. Ghettoville when you pressed us into action, you naughty boys.

    On a lighter note, Fr. Z, I don’t know if you remember me from our Compuserve (dial-up) days, on the Compuserve “Religion” form. Back in the heady days of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, we argued with the retrobate Fr Burns, who bizarrely claimed that OS had reduced Our Lord’s human nature to his genitals.

    When I blasted Burns in reply, I also sent him a private message, which read,

    “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I was exclusive; not inclusive. For these sins and the sins of my past life, I am heartily sorry.”

    Next time I logged onto the forum, I found my account banned!!!

    Little did I know, but it appears that from reading various episcopal websites, Fr. Burns has taken up residency in many chancery offices throughout the US.

    God Bless, Fr. Z.
    Chris Dowling

  5. michigancatholic says:

    I hope someone is keeping a tally of who says what. I think we’re finding out some information here that we’ve wondered about for a long time, ie. where are the engines for power and dissent among the bishops?

  6. shoe says:

    This letter seems perfectly sensible. Many of the other letters that are now coming strike me as a bit funny. Will the bishops have to take the same exam? My experience is that most bishops in the States are unable to read Latin with any degree of proficiency.

    The one bishop’s requirement is quite funny. His Holiness correctly suggests that those saying or participating in the Mass in the extraordinary form have a certain amount of preparation. When I was in grad school, it was presupposed that I could speak one of the languages required for the PhD (I grew up overseas), so they did not make me take the exam. It is curious when one tests knowledge that is presupposed.

  7. Veiled Woman says:

    I do wish that Bishop Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre would make friends with Bishop Wester.

    We spoke briefly with our new pastor about the Motu Proprio and he told us that an email had been sent to pastors advising them that there would be three “centers” within the Diocese. That’s it. Sort of reminded us of detention centers, but we’ll leave that alone for now.

    The new pastor told us that the word from the Chancery is that the documents were “mistranslated” and “misinterpreted” — “some think that it means they will be FORCED to offer the Latin Mass” but in truth it’s just a “suggestion.” We asked him if he had actually read the documents. The answer was no. We tried to hand him a copy and he physically moved back as though we were making the kind offer of a viper.

    He said that not enough Priests know Latin. We gently suggested that our Priests are a well educated bunch and since they have proven themselves to be so adept at learning Spanish, we had every confidence that they could learn the language of the Church, too. We said that since we knew he was skilled in the use of Latin that perhaps he would offer us his interpretation of the documents when he had a moment to read them. Response: a blank stare.

    That’s OK. We heard the message loud and clear. There’s room in the Church for everyone … those who like Carribean Masses, Gospel Masses with everyone in dashikis, polka masses, charismatic masses with people falling over. Yes, room for everyone … um, except for YOUR sort.

    Well, perhaps it’s time to move to the Diocese of Camden and take our Bishop’s Appeal donations with us.

  8. Jordan Potter says:

    So far, in my diocese the only public statements of an official nature regarding the motu proprio are those that were made by Father Stanley Deptula, director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship, on behalf of Bishop Daniel Jenky. Father Deptula’s comments are in a good-sized story on page 3 of the current issue of The Catholic Post. The website of The Catholic Post has an abridged version of that story (abridging stories to save space is the usual practice of our diocesan paper), which includes Father Deptula’s comments:

    Tridentine Mass ruling: diocese expects little change

    Very little is expected to change in parishes throughout the Diocese of Peoria as a result of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to allow the Tridentine rite of the Mass to be offered on a regular basis to those who desire it.

    “For any Catholic who is afraid that suddenly their average Sunday Mass is going to change, it’s not,” said Father Stanley Deptula, director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship. “This is not going to affect our average priest or our average parishioner.”

    He explained that the pope’s apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” simply provides a greater opportunity to seek out this form of liturgical spirituality for those who do hunger for it.

    “Where there has been interest in the ‘extraordinary form’ of the Roman Rite, the mandate to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 missal had been generously granted and will continue to be encouraged,” Father Deptula said in a statement released to the clergy of the diocese this week.

    He urged them to avoid a “sensational interpretation” of this issue, since major changes are not foreseen in the parishes of central Illinois. Further comment and instructions from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky are expected in the coming weeks.

    In the Diocese of Peoria, Masses celebrated with the 1962 missal are already being offered on Sunday at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Fairbury, and on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at St. Mary of the Woods Church in Princeville.

    “If there are Catholics who want to know more about this Mass, I would encourage them to seek out those two parishes that regularly offer it,” Father Deptula said.


    So I guess we’ll be hearing more about this from the bishop later on. (By the way, the parts of this story that were abridged had to do with twhat the Tridentine Mass is like, why some Catholics prefer it, why some of our priests offer it. It’s a very fair and balanced story.

    (Oh, I thought I’d also mention that the two places in our rather large diocese where the Tridentine Mass is available are small towns out in the boondocks, not at all convenient for most people in the diocese to travel to. The Tridentine Mass has moved around in our diocese, and I’ve been told that it was sometimes because a new pastor with a very low regard for it wanted it out of his parish.)


  9. michigancatholic says:

    “For any Catholic who is afraid that suddenly their average Sunday Mass is going to change, it’s not,”

    I don’t know if they realize that many people would actually like them to change for the better. This is sort of a clueless response on their part, I think.

  10. RBrown says:

    The new pastor told us that the word from the Chancery is that the documents were “mistranslated” and “misinterpreted”—“some think that it means they will be FORCED to offer the Latin Mass” but in truth it’s just a “suggestion.”

    I think reference to the Sopranos is appropriate. The Chancery is happy with “this thing of ours” (questa cosa nostra) and is trying hard to suppress and inclination to be part of the universal church.

    If priests don’t know Latin, why was their formation Latin deficient? Vat II, the Code of Canon Law, and the Ratio Studiorum are require it.

  11. RBrown says:

    should be: “Vat II . . . all require Latin proficiency.

  12. Jordan Potter says:

    I don’t know if they realize that many people would actually like them to change for the better. This is sort of a clueless response on their part, I think.

    I think what that was responding to were the frightened, uninformed folks like the guy who came into our parish center last Saturday. He said, “So, did you hear that they’re going to force us all to pray in a language nobody can understand with the priest turning his back on us again?” But as the motu proprio says, the Pauline Missal will remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, and anyway the provisions of the motu proprio don’t take effect until Sept. 14. It’s not going to be like it was in the late 1960s, when one Sunday it was the old Mass, the next Sunday it was a Mass no one had ever heard of before.

    But I’ve been to a diocesan liturgical workshop where Father Deptula gave a presentation on the ongoing renewal of the liturgy and “reform of the reform.” I can assure you that Fr. Deptula is very much aware that many people want things to change — he is one of them, and he’s very excited and happy about the things we’ve been getting from Benedict XVI regarding the liturgy. (Also, it is noteworthy that Fr. Deptula is a Newman Center chaplain, and at his Newman Center chapel, they’ve installed an altar rail.)

    Fairfield County Catholic, July 14, 2007

    Somewhere, buried amid my elementary school report cards, essays, and other childhood memorabilia is the Mass card that was given me when I became an altar server. Its specific purpose was to help train servers on how to respond to the Mass prayers in Latin. Since we were unschooled in Latin, the card offered phonetic pronunciations of the Latin responses. Included on the card were prayers at the foot of the altar as well as responses for the Gospel, the Preface, the blessing, dismissal, and the Last Gospel.

    My classmates and I took pride in learning these replies by heart and in achieving clear pronunciation of the Latin words. We were also fascinated by the intricacy of the Mass; under the tutelage of our assistant pastor, we learned to serve the High Mass and the Low Mass with effortless precision. Forty Hours, Confirmations, funerals, and weddings, as well as Holy Week (the rites for Holy Week had already undergone an initial revision) were special challenges which we relished.

    Those memories came back to me this past week when I read Pope Benedict’s new documents permitting a more frequent use of the Mass and Sacraments as they were celebrated prior to 1970 – using both the ceremonial forms and the Latin language as found in the Roman Missal issued by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. The first of Pope Benedict’s documents on this subject is an Apostolic Letter entitled Summorum Pontificum and given Motu Proprio, which means it sets down provisions or norms by the Holy Father’s own proper authority. That said, the Holy Father spent a good deal of time in prayer, reflection, and consultation with bishops and experts before he issued these new norms.

    The second document is a pastoral letter addressed to bishops wherein the Holy Father treats pastoral concerns that his new directives might be expected to raise; this is coupled with words of encouragement to us members of the college of bishops who are his co-workers in proclaiming the truth and love of Christ.

    These new norms will go into effect on September 14, 2007, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the coming weeks, I will seek the advice of both clergy and laity as we study the norms found in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter and how they will apply to our diocese. In the meantime, however, since these directives of the Holy Father are, to some degree, “in the news,” I thought it best to offer you a few pastoral reflections and perspectives, based on what the Holy Father has said and written.

    First, I want to speak about the enduring value of the extraordinary form of the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962. This Missal, though issued relatively recently, recapitulates centuries of liturgical development. In thinking back to my own youthful experience of the liturgy, I am reminded not only of its antiquity but also of the formative role it played in the lives of almost everyone I knew, including my parents. The Mass and the Sacraments in this form nurtured the faith of great saints, Catholic intellectuals, and untold millions of ordinary Catholics.

    One of my prized possessions as a youth was the Saint Andrew Daily Missal which contained Mass prayers in Latin and English, together with explanations of the rite. Following along with this Missal, my classmates and I had a clear understanding of the parts of the Mass together with their significance.

    In making this form of the Mass and Sacraments more readily available today, Pope Benedict is not suggesting that the liturgical renewal following the Second Vatican Council was mistaken, nor is he attempting to “roll the clock back,” as some may fear. The Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI (the Third Edition of which was issued by Pope John Paul II) will continue to be the ordinary form of the liturgy, whereas the previous form will remain extraordinary.

    Far from rejecting the renewed liturgy, the Holy Father is making an important point: the ordinary form of the liturgy (that of Pope Paul VI) is in continuity with the older usage; thus there are two forms (ordinary and extraordinary) in the one Roman Rite. This is not just a technical point. It means that you and I stand in communion, in a continuity of faith and prayer, with those who have gone before us. We are one with those who for centuries worshipped in liturgical forms which in the West gradually took shape until they were more or less standardized by Pope Pius V following the conclusion of the Council of Trent in 1563.

    Perhaps, in the strenuous efforts to reform the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council, there was insufficient appreciation of the important role which these venerable liturgical forms continued to play in the spiritual lives of many, not only those in advancing years but also a surprising number of young people. Perhaps it took a few decades of experience for this to be clearly seen; this has been observed in the two parishes in the diocese were the older usage is celebrated. So with a mix of gentleness and firmness, the Holy Father is encouraging us to embrace all things Catholic in a spirit that seeks the unity and common of the Church.

    Various other pastoral concerns have been voiced. Some have wondered aloud whether this undercuts the authority of the local bishop to regulate the liturgy. I truly do not believe that it does. The role of the local bishop is not to “invent” the liturgy but rather to ensure that it be faithfully and prayerfully celebrated in accord with the teaching and discipline of the Church. Echoing the thought of Saint Paul, we bishops, together with our priests, are “stewards” of the liturgy, not its owners.

    An ancient adage tells us that “the law of praying is the law of believing.” This means, among other things, that the liturgy is to reflect in beauty and simplicity the faith of the Church. The first job of a bishop is to teach the faith – primarily through the preaching and instruction which he delivers or that which is delivered on his behalf by pastors and parish priests. For the vast majority of Catholics, however, this occurs within the liturgy. The Holy Father has provided the bishops of the world with an opportunity to teach about the nature and role of the liturgy in the lives of all the faithful.

    Some have also wondered if these new directives will bring about unity with those who have effectively left the Church following the Second Vatican Council, not only over liturgical reforms but also over aspects of conciliar teaching. They worry that efforts to re-unite these dissident groups might produce a greater disunity among the vast majority of Catholics who seem relatively satisfied with the liturgy as it was restored and renewed following the Council.

    In weighing such concerns, we should recognize the pope’s global perspective on this question; it is estimated that, worldwide, some 400,000 individuals, including nearly 500 priests, are involved in such groups, the largest being the Society of Saint Pius X founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

    No one imagines that the Motu Proprio will bring about automatic reunification with such groups, for the issues go beyond the liturgy. However, it may help many to find their way back to full communion with the Church. This is a worthy pastoral goal which all of us should reflect on with serenity and open-heartedness. We should also be attentive to the wise provisions that the Holy Father has put in place so as not disrupt the ordinary flow of parish life.

    Concerns were also voiced in the media about the effect the Motu Proprio might have on Roman Catholic-Jewish relations. Prior to the Missal of 1962, the Good Friday Liturgy contained prayers which, lamentably, were indeed anti-Semitic. “Are we returning to such forms?” it was asked.

    As just indicated, such references were already removed in the Missal of 1962; furthermore the older usage cannot be used at all during the Triduum, that is, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Thus the Motu Proprio should have no effect, one way or the other, on Roman Catholic-Jewish relationships. Rather, the Church’s commitment to dialogue and cooperation with the Jewish community will continue unabated.

    To read the text of the Apostolic Letter, the Pope’s letter to bishops, and a useful Q&A on the subject, click here. I urge you to read these documents for yourself. Again, after appropriate consultation, I will offer guidance on the implementation of the Motu Proprio that will be faithful to its spirit and its letter.

  14. michigancatholic says:

    we bishops, together with our priests, are “stewards” of the liturgy, not its owners


    So when a priest inserts something, changes something, omits something, he is stealing from all of us. When a bishop acts like a petty autocrat over the liturgy, he makes himself king of something he cannot rule. The liturgy is in his care, as an adult cares for a child, a child who is not the adult’s possession to do with as he fancies.

  15. Michael E. Lawrence says:

    I think Bishop Lori’s statement on this motu proprio is quite beautiful. Obviously, the part about the Triduum is just a mistake. The way he talks about his hand missal and Mass card is quite moving indeed.

    I also think the Bishop Rhoades’ statement is quite good, and though some may quibble with some of the phraseology therein, he is clearly doing everything he can to provide for the needs of those faithful in his diocese who wish to make use of the Extraordinary Form.

    Ad multos annos!

  16. Maybe we should ad Bishop Lori, to our list of thanks?

  17. whoah says:

    While the Bishop’s statement is very good, generally speaking, I would point out two mistakes: 1. the Triduum misinterpretation and 2. the statement that the Good Friday intercessions before 1962 were anti-semitic. Perfidious in Latin has a far different meaning (and far less derogatory meaning) than in English. It was PERCEIVED as anti-semitic, that’s why it was removed. Aside from these two issues, I too was very touched by his stated memories.

  18. Yes, and it seems that they were just that, mistakes, and I’m thinking non intentional. His Excellency is just reading the common takes on the “conditional terms” in the document. He has certainly taken the uncommon, or lets say extraordinary(besides quite a beautiful) way of going over the MP and Letter. That is what has to be seen in this statement.

  19. So the good bishop of Erie is going to have those who wish to use the 62 missal undergo an exam on the rubrics of that mass.Excellent idea!Now he must decree that all priests who celebrate the 70 missal also take an exam on its rubrics.

  20. Augustine says:


    Archdiocese of Denver, Archbishop Chaput:

    An open letter to the faithful regarding
    Pope Benedict’s instruction for extended use of Tridentine Mass
    July 12, 2007

    My brothers and sisters in Christ,

    On July 7, 2007 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued a Motu Proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum(“The care of the Supreme Pontiffs for Divine Worship”).

    In the document he explains the two forms for celebrating the Holy Mass: the ordinary form of Mass, currently celebrated in our parishes according to
    the Roman Missal of Paul VI, and the extraordinary form which is the Mass celebrated according to the Roman Missal of 1962 promulgated by Blessed John XXIII, commonly known as the Tridentine Mass. Both are expressions of our one Roman Rite.

    The Holy Father seeks to express the richness of the Church’s liturgical traditions and to care for the pastoral needs of those persons who are attached to the extraordinary form of the Mass. He also calls for a renewal in celebrating both forms with reverence and solemnity so that they may lead us to a
    deeper love of our Eucharistic Lord.

    Here in the Archdiocese of Denver, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Latin Mass Community, served by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, has provided for many years a pastoral welcome to those who desired
    the Tridentine Mass. There daily Mass and Sunday Mass are celebrated according to the Missal of 1962 promulgated by Blessed John XXIII.

    In the coming months I will be meeting with my Presbyteral Council, College of Consultors, and Presbyterate to assess the needs of the parish communities and our priestly resources. I ask for your patience, charity and prayer as we work to establish an appropriate and practical response to the Holy
    Father’s wishes for the wider availability of the Missal of 1962.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,
    + Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
    Archbishop of Denver

  21. Jon says:


    Bishop Rhoades’ letter is a nut ‘n’ bolts statement to his priests. Based on my experience as a member of his diocese and the indult parish he mentions, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t issue a public statement more akin to Bishop Wester’s or Bishop Lori’s.

  22. RBrown says:

    I think Bishop Trautman doesn’t realize that BXVI intends to govern the Church. This pope is not merely going to make suggestions to bishops.

  23. Fr. McCafee,

    You wrote: “So the good bishop of Erie is going to have those who wish to use the 62 missal undergo an exam on the rubrics of that mass.Excellent idea!Now he must decree that all priests who celebrate the 70 missal also take an exam on its rubrics.”

    Brilliant! :-)


  24. On the training workshop idea, I wonder whether the FSSP has ever considered putting together training videos and programs for both clergy and the laity. The workshop could be designed for self or group study, and would incorporate the best form of catechesis on the meaning of the mass as well as practical aspects such as rubrics, acolyte practices, etc etc.

    Obviously, there is no substitute for hands on training, but there might be some priests who find it almost impossible to get to training and yet desire to be trained. Maybe there could be an FSSP (blessed by Ecclesia Dei) Distance Learning Certificate Program that could provide some blended learning options, such as a week long workshop combined with multimedia tools and a mentoring program for priests and seminarians? It could also include an on-line language training course in Latin (there are multiple homeschooling products that could fit the bill…).

    I could even envision a full parish TLM workshop “in a box” that pastors (or “stable communities” ;-) ) could purchase and offer to their flocks as part of the adult and youth religious education programs. It could have a binder of resources (including checklists) on ways to help a parish through the change process, along with support tools, such as catechetical materials and mass aids.

    Just a few thoughts from your international training and development consultant!

    God bless,


  25. RBrown says:

    Note to Bishop Trautman: The Motu Proprio is “Summorum Pontificum cura”, not “Ordinarii Loci cura”.

  26. Monica says:

    What would Bishop Trautman do if this extraordinary form of the Mass were used as frequently as extratordinary ministers of Holy Communion are used in the ordinary Mass? I believe a Latin exam would have to be one that all the members of the USCCB could pass (to maintain their membership in that conference). By the way, since we have an extraordinary form in addition to the ordinary in the Latin Rite, should a candidate recommended to become a Bishop be proficient with both forms to better serve his community? I don’t know how Bishops are selected in the Latin Rite of our Church; but it would only make sense that it be a pastor who knows all the forms of our rite to better meet the needs of the communities he would be serving.

  27. michigancatholic says:

    I think you are right, Monica. I don’t understand how a new bishop can perform in his diocese if he does not have the proficiency to say mass properly according to the liturgical books in force. I think this is a huge problem, and it’s outrageous. There are plenty of examples of those who can’t seem to manage the ordinary form, let alone the extraordinary form.

    Proficiency entails knowing the language(s) properly both in speech, grammar, and most crucially *READING COMPREHENSION*. This includes both Latin AND English in the US, and maybe Spanish or other languages in some areas. Add French in Canada. As an aside, poor reading comprehension can also inhibit the ability to read documents from Rome properly. Inability to read is also very serious when it inhibits the ability to READ THE BLACK AND DO THE RED in the missal, but we’ve all witnessed that too.

    It also includes knowing the rubrics and missals for ALL the masses in the diocese, including the Mass of 1962 (except maybe those of religious orders ie Dominican Rite, etc). Recent news is no excuse; there have been masses of 1962 said in American dioceses pretty much continuously since 1962 and continuing into the present. The Mass of 1962 has never been abbrogated. Have they just made the decision that some people aren’t worth bothering with??? I think they have! How non-apostolic is that?

    Ecclesia Dei and others can check proficiency by checking what a bishop says, writes, and by viewing videotapes with missal in hand. A bishop who can’t say mass properly is an embarrassment and a miscarriage of peace and justice. Maybe Ecclesia Dei could get them to Rome and give them lessons until they “get” it right. And yes, Horace, there is a right and a wrong way to say mass. People who say otherwise may have developed defense mechanisms and those coping techniques can get out of control in sad cases, as we’ve all witnessed.

    Also, there is a tendency for bishops, at least American ones, to lecture businessmen and other groups about:
    a) things they can’t seem to express logically or in grammatically-proper standard American English,
    b) things they don’t seem to be able to do themselves (which leads one to believe there are language comprehension difficulties, at the very least). For instance, provide a decent living wage and justice on the job.

    It’s time we had some bishops who had some basic idea about what they were expected to do. There is no excuse for the kind of mediocrity, illiteracy & just plain botched logic we have seen in the dioceses.

  28. michigancatholic says:

    My last post was a little (ok a lot) tongue in cheek, but I really do expect that bishops ought to be able to read documents from Rome and act on them with some degree of comprehension and most especially in good faith. I also think that bishops have an obligation to serve rather than rule. And I think that becoming bishop does not automatically make one an expert on all manner of subjects outside the church’s doors.

    There are a great many bishops who have absolutely no training in business, mathematics, science, American politics, and other disciplines, and it shows. About those things, they should consult a lay expert if they requre one. Running the church is their vocation (something they’re not doing very well); they don’t need to, nor can they manage to, take on more.

  29. Serafino says:

    One of the interesting observations in almost all the official statements issued by various chanceries at the bequest of the bishops, is that nowhere do you find any mention that priests may use the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII without special permission from the Apostolic See or their local Ordinary.

    What we do find, though couched in “churchspeak” is a general attempt to impose restrictions which limit its use.

    Many bishops are saying that since they have already “generously” granted the use of the 1962 Missal in their dioceses, by allowing one Sunday celebration each week, there is no real need for the MP. They fail to mention, that every priest, when the conditions of the MP are met, may celebrate according the 1962 Missal in their own parishes without their permission.

    I think the Commission E. D. will be very busy addressing complaints by both priests and laity as the bishops try to stop the proper implementation of the document. The Bishops certainly must be aware, that the days of “pay, pray and obey” are long gone!

    Lastly if their “Lordships” had done their job forty years ago and implemented the Missal of Papa Montini properly, we would not be in the present situation.

  30. Romulus says:

    Numbers 14: 20-35
    Then the Lord said, “…none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the proof these ten times and have not hearkened to my voice, shall see the land which I swore to give to their fathers; and none of those who despised me shall see it. But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it”…And the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron, “How long shall this wicked congregation murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say to them, “As I live, says the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and of all your number, numbered from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ I, the Lord, have spoken; surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”

  31. Henry Edwards says:

    On the training workshop idea, I wonder whether the FSSP has ever considered putting together training videos and programs for both clergy and the laity.

    An FSSP priest recently told me such video(s) are currently in the planning (or at least the discussion) stage, along with a possibly expanded program of workshops for next year. Because of the overflow from their three workshops this past June, another workshop for this coming September has been scheduled, but I’ve heard it’s also booked up. (They accepted only 15 priests per workshop, so each of the five instructors would be working with only three priests in the practical sessions.)

  32. Henry,

    That is good news indeed! I imagine they are quite overwhelmed. There is never a shortage of good things to do!


  33. michigancatholic says:


    The laity really don’t need a video. It’s very easy to do the part of the laity. Just get a missal (or a leaflet printed from online or by purchase) and follow along. You’ll have it in no time flat! Another great help is EWTN. They use Latin in some of their masses, so you can learn the Pater Noster and so on there, and also the pronunciation. YOu can tune into EWTN online if you can’t get them on TV or radio.

    For servers, there are booklets. Speak to the priest who will say your extraordinary mass too. He might be able to help you if you want to serve.

  34. michigancatholic says:

    Henry, maybe my last comment ought to have been directed at the person you quoted. Sorry, but the info is still there for those that might wonder.

  35. Michigancatholic,

    I would see the video as being more than simply a “how to participate” video. Rather, I would envision a more comprehensive catechesis on the history, structure and meaning of the Tridentine Mass. There is alot of richness here that has remained covered up for decades. It needs to be reintroduced through catechesis as well as by experiencing it personally. I think the medium of video is a great way to promote a thoughtful, engaged congregation, in addition to the ideas you mentioned.

    God bless!


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