Steubenville, Bp. Conlon, and Summorum Pontificum

Here is an article from the Steubenville Register with quotations of the local Bishop R. Daniel Conlon. 

My emphases and comments.

Transcription from:    THE STEUBENVILLE REGISTER    JULY 13, 2007

Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal is more than just using Latin

            STEUBENVILLE – Mass using the Roman Missal of 1962 does not mean just using Latin rather than English, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon said.

            Though most priests would be able to read the Latin words necessary for a Tridentine Mass, the ritual is different both for the priest and the people.  “For example, the rite has a lot more gestures,” he said.

            For himself, the Tridentine Mass is a “very old memory.  I grew up with it, but somewhere in high school was the last time that I would have participated in it formally.”

            Since becoming bishop, he has had some formal requests for celebration of the Tridentine Mass.  Requests came from Belmont, Jefferson, Lawrence and Washington counties.  In each case, Bishop Conlon said he took the matter to the Presbyteral Council for discussion.  The priests’ advice there was not favorable for the celebrations, particularly out of fear that such rites would create a sense of division in the church.  [So, the faithful made requests.   The requests were not favored.]

            Pope Benedict XVI’s letter and norms, which will take effect Sept. 14, for the wider celebration of the Tridentine Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal, should be received in a spirit of calm, Bishop Conlon said.  “I intend to take the matter a step at a time.  Obviously it took Pope Benedict some time [And we can perhaps conclude that Pope Benedict therefore was serious about issuing what he did, in the face of so many objections, which he considered unfounded.] to get to the point of issuing his letter.  I want to exercise the same degree of caution in implementing [A bishop is not the Pope of his diocese.  There is perhaps here functioning, perhaps… perhaps… an ecclesiology about particular churches can makes the implementation of some papal provisios less than imperative.] the norms in the Diocese of Steubenville.  Besides [What follows is the party line around which most are closing ranks] I do not anticipate a widespread public use of the 1962 missal because the Holy Father’s directives require” a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, which exists stably.

            Noted Bishop Conlon, “The people also have to remember that we are in the midst of a pastoral planning process, anticipating fewer parishes with fewer Masses, celebrated by fewer priests.”  [I think people demonstrating enthusiasm about attended any Mass, therefore, should be taken as a positive.  If a priest is willing to work to help these people, that should be seen as a positive]

            However, he reminded, “The Eucharist is Christ’s ultimate gift to assure the unity of the church.  [Given what His Holiness wrote in Summorum Pontificum, it strikes me as reasonable to rush to a positive implementation, rather than a hestitant tip toeing.]

            “Ultimately we have to allow the Holy Spirit to work within the living, breathing church.  We also have to trust that the Spirit works through the apostolic ministry of the successor of St. Peter.”  [Precisely!]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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