Official Statement of Archd. of Detroit on MP

The official statement of Card. Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit has some very good points.  My emphases and comments.

Statement of Cardinal Maida on Tridentine Mass

For Release July 7, 2007

Contact: Office of Public Relations
(313) 237-5943

    Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio by Pope Benedict XVI on the use of the "Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970," was made public at the Vatican on Saturday, 7th July 2007.  The following statement from Cardinal Maida will appear in the upcoming edition of The Michigan Catholic

I am grateful that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has shown his pastoral care for those members of the faithful who desire to worship God with the Mass prayers and related sacramental celebrations of the 1962 Missal.

It is important to underscore the fact that the Missal of 1970 (the post-Vatican II liturgy) remains the "ordinary form" for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  The 1962 (pre-conciliar) Missal is the "extraordinary form" for celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  There are not "two rites" for the Mass; as Pope Benedict XVI explains, "it is a matter of a two-fold use of one and the same rite."

Citing words from the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy from Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI explained that in both forms for celebrating the Roman ritual, the intent is the same:  "full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful."  Both forms celebrate our participation in sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ:  in the "ordinary" form or post-Vatican II, we do so by means of our English (vernacular) language and communal prayer, while in the extraordinary or pre-Vatican II form, participation also includes listening to the prayers in Latin and joining our hearts to the words and actions.  [YES!   This is very good!   Active participation is active receptivity.  As a matter of fact, it is primarily active receptivity.   The newer form of Mass also calls for active paricipation by listening.]

Furthermore, allowing a wider celebration of the 1962 version of the Mass should not be seen as calling into question the abiding significance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.  In his Motu Proprio, our Holy Father underscored the fact that the teachings of the Council are in no way diminished by allowing a wider usage of the former (pre-conciliar) ritual for the Mass and other sacraments.

Our Holy Father shared his motivation and intention for issuing the Motu Proprio:  strengthening the unity of the Church by preserving the riches of the faith and prayer of her full liturgical tradition.  Like his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, he has been concerned about reaching out to those who felt alienated from the Church because of the exclusive use of the post-conciliar ritual.  Opening the door to wider use of the pre-conciliar liturgy builds on earlier concessions of Pope John Paul II which have proven to be a means of reconciliation.  The Holy Father also believes there are Catholics— of all generations— who have expressed a sincere desire to experience the pre-conciliar liturgy and have found it a compelling and attractive means for worshipping the Lord.  [Again, very good.  His Eminence does not see this move of Pope Benedict’s as being aimed mainly at older people or those in compromised unity.  It is aimed at anyone who is interested in the older form of Mass.]

In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we have already been offering this form of the Mass at St. Josaphat Church for the past several years and we look forward to continuing to provide such opportunities according to the needs and requests of the faithful.

The Motu Proprio does not take effect until September 14, 2007.  In the weeks ahead, the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese will have ample time to reflect with me upon its implementation through our consultative bodies.  [Another good way to phrase it.  His Eminence is not hereby indicating that he with his select body are going to make decisions and then hand them down.  Since the M.P. really concerns expanding the rights of priests in reponse to their desires and the desires of lay people, priests and lay people ought to be included in the deliberations.  At the same time, it cannot be a free for all.  Having a consultative body to filter and sort and respond coule be useful.]  For now, let us continue to work and pray for the unity of our Church, to worship the Lord with loving hearts, and put our faith into practice through lives of service.   [See Rule 4 of the Rules of Engagement: "Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms".]

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  1. Boko Fittleworth says:

    I used to live in southeast Michigan. Apparently the Cardinal and I have different understandings of the meaning of “several”, as in “the classical usage has been available for SEVERAL years” or “a substantial number of the faithful pleaded with the archdiocese for SEVERAL years before obtaining permission for the classical use.”

    Also, as to your point 5, Father, FSSP Superior Fr. Berg recently pointed out how difficult it is to be involved in the whole of parish life when one has no parish, but only a(n often inconvenient) Church with one Sunday Mass, no daily Masses, no school, etc…. Perhaps the MP will rectify this situation by making the classical use available in peoples’ actual territorial parishes.

    And, the cardinal seems to think that the main difference between the ordinary and extraordinary uses is the language. De facto true, sure, but insufficient as a point of distinction between the two usages. One could make the same points distinguishing between Latin and vernacular NO Masses.

  2. EJ says:

    Father, I am very pleased with His Eminence’s statement as well, but, with respect, not quite so pleased with that of my own archbishop, which I copy below my comments. Although I’m greatful that some acknowledgement has been made, His Excellency seems to think that this Motu Propio is primarily for some isolated group who for some odd reason seems to be attached to the extraordinary form, and not for the Church as a whole. As someone who attends the indult in this archdiocese in downtown DC occasionally, it is with regret that I say that there have never been any attempts to reach out to this community at all in the past- ie. no pastoral visits, no pastoral letters, no acknowlegement whatsoever, other than the existence of the indult itself for the celebration of the Mass there. Thank goodness for the Holy Father’s pastoral concern, because the Lord knows it had been lacking from our most recent shepherds here. May the below-referenced and forthcoming pastoral attention truly work towards a reconciliation in the heart of the Church, as His Holiness desires.

    Archbishop Wuerl Regarding the Motu Propio and the New Norms for the Use of the 1962 Roman Missal
    July 09, 2007

    Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl issued the following statement after Pope Benedict XVI released a motu propio with new norms for the use of the 1962 Roman Missal:
    “It is clear that the Holy Father is trying to reach out pastorally to those who feel an attraction to this form of the liturgy, and that he is asking the pastors to be aware of and support their interest. This form of the Mass has been available at several locations in the Archdiocese of Washington for many years. We will be putting together a committee to revise the sacramental norms and facilitate implementation of the motu propio by its effective date in September.”

  3. Genco says:

    These are very nice words coming from my Archbishop here in Motown. In the past he seemed to be very reluctant to allow the indult mass now at St. Josaphat. We will see if His Eminence will truly be receptive to the extraordinary Roman Rite.

    I do feel the Motu Proprio is a great blessing for the Church and I can hear the howling right now from my vicariate. I know right now I will have to go outside my vicariate for the extraordinary rite. But I will be very happy to do so when my wife and I need a shot of the extraordinary rite. I think it will improve the NO masses around here, eventually.

  4. michigancatholic says:

    I love the MP, but I don’t trust the USCCB. They’ll do what they can to chain us up again if they can get the chance.

  5. RBrown says:

    NB: Cardinal Maida is 77 years old.

  6. G says:

    Here is what my bishop had to day:


    The Church calls each of us to full, conscious, and active participation in the Mass. The vast majority of the faithful have experienced the celebration of the Mass in English with the priest facing the congregation and with the expanded use of the Sacred Scriptures much easier for them to unite their hearts, minds and voices to the sacred action of the Mass. Few of our priests possess the rubrical and linguistic skills required for the reverent celebration of the Mass using the 1962 Missal.
    Pope Benedict XVI appreciates the above realities very well and for that reason indicated that “the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.” I fully expect that to be the case here in Northwest Indiana.
    Pope Benedict XVI has allowed the use of the older Missal in use prior to the Second Vatican Council as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. He has made this generous gesture in a spirit of reconciliation and unity as he said “to make every effort to make it possible for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew.”
    For the same reason, I have for many years permitted the celebration of the Mass according to the pre-conciliar form at the Carmelite Monastery in Munster. There are certainly very limited numbers of the faithful who prefer to worship using the Latin language and the older Missal. With Pope Benedict XVI, I fully believe that, with few exceptions, our priests and people will continue to prefer to worship in English and with the Missal currently being use.

    July 9, 2007

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  7. Stephen says:

    Ok, please help me here. One Pope foists a set of liturgical changes on the hoi polloi (and then is alarmed at the fallout), 40 years later another Pope gives back what was changed (and in the process admitting the defects of the changes made by the first Pope), with yet a third Pope able to make unlimited changes in the future.

    This seems hardly an instrument of stability and reliability, more one of a wild card that can work for you one generation, and against you the next, and so on. Is this of no concern?

  8. Maureen says:

    Well, Stephen, I guess we’re all concerned about being forced to live with imperfect acts by fallible humans in a fallen world. But one does tend to get used to it.

    OTOH, the gates of Hell still haven’t prevailed, and the Pope still is infallible in matters of dogma. So everything else is the small stuff.

  9. Stephen says:

    By the small stuff, Maureen I take it you mean, the pain many Catholics endured as a result of the Mass of Pope Paul VI and his advisors such as Bugnini?

  10. Jordan Potter says:

    Stephen said: “This seems hardly an instrument of stability and reliability, more one of a wild card that can work for you one generation, and against you the next, and so on. Is this of no concern?”

    Stephen, it seems like the only thing you want to talk about is how the papacy is unreliable. You’re not interested in discussing liturgy, you just use that as a pretext to mount your Eastern Orthodox hobby horse.

    But if you’re really concerned about the reliability of the papacy, just remember how many thoroughly rotten Popes we’ve had since the days of St. Peter — and yet the Church is still here, and apparently none the worse for wear. If the Church can survive the Pornocracy or the Avignon Papacy or the Renaissance Popes, I’m pretty confident the Church will survive a botched liturgical reform. The Petrine Office remains an integral part of the Church’s constitution even if the Successor of St. Peter fails to live up to his high calling.

    We’ve also had a lot of unworthy and heretical bishops, but we don’t throw the doctrine of the episcopate overboard for that reason. Think of all the heretics who have occupied Eastern Orthodox Sees down through the ages. Do you think the Orthodox Churches should abolish bishops for that reason?

    Now then, enough of this hobby horsing around.

  11. Stephen says:

    I can well understand why you would want to give the Papacy a pass for its “botched liturgical reform.” But the fact remains that the Papacy was the origin and instrument of execution of this reform. Orthodox are under no onus to sweep it under the rug, and if we’re going to have now some serious dialogue, it needs to be addressed, however much Catholics may choose to ignore this fact. So if serious dialogue can’t be found on this blog, please direct me as to where I may find it.

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