Statement of Bishop Trautman on Summorum Pontificum

I write about His Excellency Bishop Trautman’s statement at greater length in my week column in The Wanderer.  My emphases and comments.

Statement from Bishop Trautman on Pope Benedict
XVI’s apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum”

Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D, S.S.L., [Why include academic degrees in such a statement?] Bishop of Erie, issued the following
statement on July 9, 2007 regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Summorum

The recent apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI on widening the use of the
liturgical books of 1962 is prompted by his desire to reach out to those
Catholics in schism because of their non-acceptance of the liturgical reforms of
the Second Vatican Council.
  [That is not the only reason.  Pope Benedict states also his pastoral concern for those who simply want the older forms.  Note also that from the onset there is a suggestion that desire of the older form is against Vatican II.]

The Second Vatican Council, an ecumenical council of the Church, [again, trying to establish the authority of Vatican II] restored [suggestion that use of the vernacular is also "traditional"] and adapted the liturgy recommending vernacular languages for the worship
life of the Church.
[I think Sacrosanctum Concilium actually mandated that Latin be retained and that pastors of souls were to make sure people knew to speak and sing in Latin the parts of Mass pertaining to them.] Pope Benedict, sensitive to those still clinging [why this word?] to the Tridentine Latin Mass (the 1962 missal) and liturgical rites prior to Vatican II, now grants a more generous application of that former liturgy.  [No… present liturgy.  Benedict states that it was never abrogated.] 

Since the Diocese of Erie already permits the celebration of the Tridentine
Mass in two locations, St. Ann Parish in Erie and St. Bernadette Parish in
Saegertown, I do not foresee a pressing pastoral need on the part of our people.  [This is the line many bishops are taking in their statements.]  In the future, I will be issuing diocesan norms to help apply and order the
specifics of the pope’s letter.
Priests who might want to celebrate the
Tridentine Mass will be given a rubrical and Latin exam to comply with the
pope’s own statement, “The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree
of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.”  [Yes, but that knowledge must be the minimum necessary.  Also, a pastor of souls would want to ensure that priests could celebrate this rite well.  That suggests organizing workshops, continuing education for priests, and training for seminarians so that every priest is idoneus.]
Further, there will be need to ascertain that the common good of the parish
prevails and to ascertain what constitutes a stable community
[Note the use of the inadequate translation] of those
requesting the 1962 missal.
We must keep in proper perspective [Which I hope includes reading the document with a generous spirit] the pope’s
more generous use of the liturgical rites prior to 1962.  [Not just prior, but also after.  The books in force in 1962 were approved.] The pope himself has
said: “It is clearly seen that the new missal will certainly remain the ordinary
form of the Roman rite.”




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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