Bp. of Altoona-Johnstown on the Motu Proprio

The Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, His Excellency Most Reverend Joseph V. Adamec, has issued his statement on the older form of Mass and the Motu Proprio in the The Catholic Register.

My emphases and comments.

Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese – Catholic Register 08/05/2007 Bishop’s Message

For The Good Of The Household

Extraordinary Form Of The Mass


The Holy Father has issued an important document in the form of a Motu Proprio (“on his own initiative”) regarding the celebration of the Mass.
Specifically, it gives permission, under certain conditions, for priests to celebrate Mass according to the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII.
The Pope is not speaking merely about a language, since there is no question about Latin already being allowed for the celebration of the Mass. [Right!] Rather, it is a blanket permission for priests to be able to celebrate Mass in one of two different ways under certain conditions. [Hmmm… that same phrase twice…]

It is obvious that the Holy Father does not wish that this special permission be divisive in the liturgical life of the Church. He reaffirms the legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council and refers to a twofold use of the one rite for the celebration of Mass. Celebrating Mass in accord with the Missal published by Pope Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council continues to be the ordinary form of celebrating the Eucharist.

On reading the document, one can see that certain clarifications will need to be made before its effective date of September 14. I plan to issue brief guidelines in this regard, based on the reminder by the Holy Father that the bishop continues to be the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese.

It is clear that any priest of the Latin Rite may celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form when celebrating privately and without a congregation being present. Individual members of the Faithful may join him, however, provided that liturgical laws are observed. It is also clear that it is the pastor who makes the decision as to whether or not the extraordinary form is used for the whole parish. His decision is to be in response to a specific request on the part of the Faithful within the parish of which he is the pastor. [It seems from this statement that the number of people to be considered may not include people not registered in the parish.  Right?] It other words, a parish priest does not celebrate a regularly scheduled Mass using the extraordinary form as a result of his own preference[However, the priest is also a member of the faithful.  He is there continuously.  He is able to be part of the group desiring the older form of Mass.]

Less clear is the identification of the group that may make the request for a parish Mass in Latin to be celebrated in accord with the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII. The Holy Father speaks of such a group as being one that has had an attachment to the former form of Mass and has consistently existed [I am not sure that this is a good way to render the provision of the Motu Proprio.  This sounds as if there has to be a group how, for a long time, has wanted the old Mass.  The Latin of the M.P. says that the group merely be there consistently.  That does not mean that the group couldn’t form itself and identify itself as a group on, say 14 September at midnight.  If they were registered parishioners, they would be a consistently present group of people.] in a particular parish. In other words, it is not to be merely a novelty. How large does such a group need to be? The document does not say. Certainly, one or two individuals may not impose [why that word?] a change upon the whole parish.

While Pope Benedict XVI is most generous in his Motu Proprio to the Faithful who continue to be [or who will become attached] attached to the former way of celebrating Mass, he admits that such celebrations will not be widespread. To quote him, “The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language, neither of these is found very often.” Pastors are encouraged to be sympathetic to those of their congregation who request the Mass in the extraordinary form. Nevertheless, they are not obligated to learn another set of liturgical rules for the celebration of Mass.  [The Latin suggests something stronger than "encouraged to be sympathetic".  I wonder if a priest doesn’t have a duty to learn how to celebrate his Rite.  Still, a priest is not obligated to celebrate the older rite.  However, would that not mean he is not obligated to celebrate the newer?]

Since the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio does not take effect until September 14 of this year, no changes are to be made before that date.
By that time, I plan to have ready some brief guidelines. It is my intention to assist our pastors in reaching out to those who have been [or will become?] consistently attached to the older form of Mass, while maintaining a unity within our diocesan liturgical life.

I see this statement as being very "correct", though it is not welcoming.  It is guarded, in its tone.  The guidelines will be interesting. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. anon in A-J says:

    This statement is definitely better than we expected. It gives room to local pastors to go ahead and continuing making plans to offer the TLM.

  2. Derrida Delendus est says:

    I know some priests in the diocese who were trained in seminary by a liturgist very skilled in twisting documents to mean what he wished them to mean. Don’t expect Mass there in the Extraordinary Form

  3. anon in A-J: I believe it’s the Motu Proprio that gives room for that.

  4. Dino says:

    There’s a catch-22 here. I, like many, travel some distance to get to a Latin Mass, so naturally I am not registered in what would otherwise be my local parish. I wrote to a pastor nearby asking him if he was planning to institute a Latin Mass. Here’s what he wrote:

    “Thank you for your note regarding the norms for the wider celebration of the Tridentine Mass issued by Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, 2007.

    “There are no plans to institute the extraordinary form of the Mass – the Tridentine Mass at the Church of Saint ________. In accordance with the norms, no “recognized group” of Catholic laity in our parish have asked for the mass. Additionally, there are no active priests in the parish who have been trained in the Tridentine Mass of 1962.

    “We have no record of you as a registered parishioner at our parish. So, I thank you for your interest in our parish. Please visit anytime.”

    I wrote back that I would be registered if there would be a Latin Mass to attend, and to please notify me if such would come about. I’m not holding my breath.

    We need to develop a way for people with an interest in the Latin Mass, who would belong to their local parish, to able to find one another so that they can set up these “stable groups”–parish by parish. The pastors are certainly not going to come looking for us.

  5. anon in A-J says:

    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: “anon in A-J: I believe it’s the Motu Proprio that gives room for that.”

    Yes, certainly, thank you for the correction.

    However, as late as spring of 2007, Bishop Adamec had publicly stated that the TLM was only to be offered to bring back Lefevbrists, and that since there were no Lefevbrists in his diocese, there would be no TLM.

    This is the first public statement from Bishop Adamec since Summorum Pontificum was published, as the bishop was away in Slovakia for the last month.

    Local priests see it as indicating the bishop will no longer attempt to prevent the TLM outright, as has been his public policy in the past.

  6. Andrew says:

    Dino, the lumengentleman site has a motu propio contacts database. Look there, you never know who you may find.

  7. anon in A-J says:

    Comment by Dino: “In accordance with the norms, no “recognized group” of Catholic laity in our parish have asked for the mass…
    “We have no record of you as a registered parishioner at our parish. So, I thank you for your interest in our parish. Please visit anytime.”

    I wrote back that I would be registered if there would be a Latin Mass to attend…We need to develop a way for people with an interest in the Latin Mass, who would belong to their local parish, to able to find one another so that they can set up these “stable groups”—parish by parish. The pastors are certainly not going to come looking for us.”

    There is a pastor in Patton, PA, in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, who will be offering the TLM. He has received requests from approximately 15 familes to offer the TLM, but none specifically from his own parishioners.

    We will be officially joining his parish soon, though it is over a half hour drive away, so that we can assist him in documenting registered parishioners who are requesting the TLM.

    I strongly recommend that other Catholics locate a pastor willing to offer the TLM within a reasonable driving distance, locate like minded lay Catholics in the region, and officially transfer your memberships (and “time, talents, and treasure”) to that parish immediately, so that this loophole does not get used by bishops opposed to the TLM to prevent otherwise sympathetic pastors from offering it.

    If this approach is wrong, I respectfully ask Fr. Z to offer his advice.

  8. BT says:

    “It other words, a parish priest does not celebrate a regularly scheduled Mass using the extraordinary form as a result of his own preference.”

    I’m not certain that this is a proper interpretation of the law. 5.1 says that pastors should willingly accept the requests made by a group of the faithful to celebrate the extraordinary form. 5.2 then says that the extraordinary form may be publicly celebrated on weekdays, feast days and Sundays (with the once per feast day or Sunday restriction).

    5.1 doesn’t seem to present a requirement that there be a request by a group of the faithful before a pastor may permit the extraordinary form to be offered publicly. It merely says that a pastor should agree to do so when there is such a request. 5.2 seems to leave the door open to a pastor deciding to implement a public Mass in the extraordinary form on his own initiative.

    At St. Theresa’s parish in Houston, Texas, the pastor is planning to offer a Mass in the extraordinary form on September 14th. His bulletin announcement said he would then be willing to offer it regularly if there is interest among the faithful of the parish. By Bishop Adamec’s interpretation, this pastor couldn’t lawfully offer this public Mass until after a group of the faithful in that parish had requested it. I’m fairly certain that he can.

    So, while much of Adamec’s presentation of the norms seems correct (and there’s less of the Party Line in his letter than in many others), on this point he appears to be incorrect.

  9. jmgarciaiii says:

    Why do I get the feeling that many bishops are:

    1) proclaiming,
    2) hoping against hope, and
    3) Possibly making efforts to ensure

    the TLM won’t “catch on” among a greater number of the faithful?

    Is it just me?


  10. Bryce says:

    Dino, there is a way. Some people have set up a database where you can register and search by State. Of course, it would make more sense to search by diocese, but this is a way people can find one another, and also a qualified priest:


  11. Martha says:

    I asked our pastor for a one-time Mass with the ’62 missal for a special occasion. (Part of a devotion for Our lady for the month of the rosary) He reluctantly said ‘yes’ and he made a couple of stipulations, one being that I make sure to have a collection taken and given to the church. What am I to think of this? It makes it look like we have to pay a nice sum for the privilege!

  12. CatherineS says:

    Can women licitly serve at these Masses? Women could not serve when the rite was in general use, but now that they can at Novus Ordo, could they at a Mass celebrated in the old form? I ask as my (secular) community is all women. Fr. Z?

  13. L_D says:


    I don’t know the answer to you question but if it turns out that the current discipline applies to the forma extraordinaria then the same restrictions would apply as well.
    If the bishop of your diocese permits the option of female altar servers it is still ultimately up to the priest celebrating Mass and I have yet to meet a priest devoted to the forma extraordinaria who would be comfortable with female altar servers.


    I wonder if this is something that is going to be addressed down the road since prior to the 1983 code of canon law (well, the 1994 interpretation anyway) this option was not available and women were also required to wear head covering at Mass. All of the indult parishes that I’ve attended seem to reflect the pre-1983 discipline of the Church. It also seems that receiving Communion on the hand is not accepted in these parishes nor is celebration versus populum.

    These are interesting questions and I too hope that Fr. Z has some answers.

  14. Bryce says:

    Girl altar servers (my priest says ‘no’ and so did the experts interviewed on the EWTN special, Bishop Bruskewitz, Fr. Ken Baker, etc); communion in the hand, most say no, etc, but it can be argued. Veils are not required, that is a personal devotion. It seems me if Ecclesia Dei is going to be helpful, and not ivory tower bureaucrats like they have been for the past 19 years, they would be coming out with some clarifications by Sept. 14. The problem is they are an agency to assist bishops, and the bishops for the most part are going to try to squelch this. I think Ecclesia Dei needs to be responsive directly to laymen and priests. Priests need to be empowered by knowing exactly what they can do and not having to be afraid of their bishops.

  15. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I enjoy reading Fr. Z.’s commentary but would remind him of two things, as folllows:

    According to S.P., the stable group does *not* need to be a group of registered parishioners; it only needs to be a group “in” the parish. A group (a coetus can be as few as two individuals) could be persons having no domicile in the parish and not vagrants there; they could be people living outside the parish–even outside the Diocese–but who regularly attend the Parish in question.

    Secondly, a group that adheres to the 1962 Mass need not consist of any people who have had any access to that Mass. It could include individuals who became attached to it when living somewhere else, people who have been attached to it ever since they were children but have not assisted at it in forty years, and people who have never attended it but are attached to the liturgy they have read privately to themselves at home.

    If someone says that he adheres to that Missal, the onus probandi falls on others to prove that he does not.

    As Fr. Z. has pointed out before, all these provisions, under the Code of Canons, must be intepreted broadly.

    Moreover, the expertise needed to celebrate this Mass means precisely that. It means the ability to pronounce the Latin accurately and to follow the rubrics assiduously. It does not mean passing a Latin exam or even knowing what the Latin words mean. I note that every priest has the right to celebrate the New Mass in Latin and yet needs to pass no Latin exam to do so. Ditto for the priests who celebrated the 1962 Mass in the 1960s and those who have celebrated it under Indult since 1984. None of them had to pass any of Bishop Trautman’s Latin exams. And Bishop Trautman would be a poor examiner, since he does not know what pro multis means.

    AS for Bishop Adamec’s “impose”, there is no imposition under S.P. The Parish Priest (what our American neighours call a ‘pastor’, which, up here, means a bishop) is merely requested to provide public Masses for stable groups. It is up to him to decide what a stable group is.

    While the bishops remain moderators of the liturgy locally, S.P., Article 12, makes it clear that the Apostolic See determines how to interpret these norms, which merely clarify an existing legal situation. In other words, priests have had these rights all along, they just didn’t know it. That is why S.P. does not reduce the episcopal power over the liturgy: it was never as great as the bishops thought it to be.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, Canada

  16. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    Re Registration in a parish.
    Canon law stipulates that those faithful who live in a (territorial) parish are ipso facto members whether “registered” or not.

  17. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Fr. McDonald is absolutely correct. However, S.P. is even more broad than what he asserts. They do not even need to live in the Parish. Article 5: “In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere …”

    Since the 1983 Code allows us to fulfil the Sunday obligation in any parish–even one of the Eastern Catholic churches–the stable group could even consist of several people (at least two) who regularly attend a Parish outside the territory of those they live in. They do not need to be registered in the Parish where they form a stable group; but they also do not even need to live in that Parish or be vagrants there. They only need to form a stable group there.

    It is really a quite broad categorisation. Of course, the priest is not required to accede to their request. Therefore, it would be better if they lived in the parish, better still if they are registered there, and better also if they are many rather than few. But, strictly speaking, they could be as few as two individuals who live outside the parish but regularly attend Mass there.


  18. RBrown says:

    Notwithstanding the grand examples of episcopal soft-shoe (“We’ve had it for some time”, “No one wants it”, “Too hard on clerical knees”, etc), the effectiveness of the MP will depend as much on BXVI’s chain of command (Cardinal Bertone, Abp Filoni, Apostolic nuncii) as on the EC Commission.

  19. anon says:

    While I know that those who are devoted to the 1962 mass are anxious t to have it
    available close to home, I feel that they are ignoring some
    aspects that with which most bishops contend: 1) how many priests
    does one have and what is their workload now? Is it fair,
    or even feasible, to offer another Sunday mass? 2) How many
    priests have the ‘skill set’ – both Latin and rubrical training
    to say the 1962 mass? We have an associate who would love to,
    but frankly, his pronunciation of Latin leaves a lot to be desired.
    It is going to take work and training.

    Cardinal George has said that he thinks “100-200” people in a
    parish requesting the rite would raise the question of whether to offer
    the 1962 mass in the parish. He has also said that both older
    priests who were trained before the Council would need at least
    a ‘brush up’ and younger priests would need to be thoroughly
    trained. You can hear him say this if you go to http://www.wbbm780.com
    and scroll down on the right to “At Issue.”

    Granted, there are six sites now in the Archdiocese where the
    1962 mass is offered and no one would be more than a 30 minute
    drive away on a Sunday. (I drive 25 minutes to my own parish,
    so I don’t count this a huge burden.)

    This might be why the Cardinal remarks that he has received
    only one request for the 1962 mass in his ten years in the
    Archdiocese and none since the motu proprio.

    I think that 1) a small group are attached to this rite, and talking
    to each other, think that there is a groundswell. Outside that
    small group, I don’t see it. 2) Bishops have a LOT on their
    plates, including managing an overstressed clergy. They also
    have the responsibility to manage the liturgy in their dioceses.
    Lay people and priests going to directly to Rome with requests
    is hardly consistent with Benedict XVI’s ecclesiology. 3) There
    are many other rites celebrated in our communion – Byzantine,
    Marionite, Melkite, etc. If one wants to celebrate in one of those
    rites, one drives to get there. One doesn’t assume that the local
    parish must offer it, for many of the above reasons.

  20. Kris says:

    I strongly recommend that other Catholics locate a pastor willing to offer the TLM within a reasonable driving distance, locate like minded lay Catholics in the region, and officially transfer your memberships (and “time, talents, and treasure”) to that parish immediately, so that this loophole does not get used by bishops opposed to the TLM to prevent otherwise sympathetic pastors from offering it.

    I don’t know what others may think about this approach but I think it sorta shows rather a bunker mentality still remaining. Hey folks, this is the big chance with an “enforcer” finally standing behind it. That is why certain bishops who would never even considered TLM in their dioceses are seen to now recognized that the faithful can plead their cause to higher authority if they are not accommodated and they know that that higher authority appears to be quite serious. Soooo, I think it much better to attempt to educate and introduce others within your parish to the beauty of what they really don’t know much about. It will take effort and patience, but it will show God one’s true appreciation and love for others who may remain ignorant.

    Now the other thing I keep reading in some of the reserved opinions by certain bishops is that “well, of course any priest can now offer the LM privately …”. Then I say to myself – if our pastor/shepherd finds a spiritual gem for himself why then the hiding of such light under some private bushel basket? Why not let that light he finds so appealing shine on the whole parish? It would be wonderful if each parish (especially pushed by the devotees) would be moved to offer this liturgy for all to see and experience so that everyone could really make a personal choice … with understanding and knowledge. So often these days we have pastors who just go with the flow – whatever flow is pushed by the pushiest! So, armed with the conditions that must be abided by, we can influence – perhaps slowly at first – and we certainly will be helped by the Holy Spirit!

  21. Jeremy says:

    Is anyone compiling a list of the success stories, aka to be celebrated Masses according to the extraordinary form, in the USA and around the world?

  22. michigancatholic says:

    Why would you bother to attend a TLM if you wanted the same thing you get at the regularly scheduled N.O. mass? Just attend that one instead. Attempts to make one into the other, it seems to me, are motivated by something other than charity. Think of other people. ;)

  23. Peter Karl: I enjoy reading Fr. Z.’s commentary but would remind him of two things, as folllows: … the stable group

    First, you can address me directly.

    Second, you don’t need to remind me of anything. You should be reminding the person who wrote the statement.

    Third, “stable group” is not a good translation.

  24. kat says:

    Just yesterday I drove 3 hours down to Portland, Maine to the one weekly Latin Mass in the state. Afterwards a well spoken FSSP priest gave a talk about the pope’s letter Summorum Pontificum and what it actually means paragraph by paragraph. Father clarified mis-translations, explained fuzzy parts, and took questions. It was very informative: a group is 2 or more persons, a private Mass is only different from a public one in that it is not listed in the bullitan as a schelduled Mass, what steps we need to take to proceed up the chain-of-command, and the offering of hope for the future. He stated that even stubborn and resistant bishops will likely allow the TLM in their dioceses due to shrinking vocations, since a Latin Mass is better than no Mass and we all know where the vocations are coming from and where they are not. I didn’t take notes, though I wish I had, but the gist was that the law is now on our side and we have recourse. Father said that all of the 30 priests who attended FSSP’s TLM workshop in June were angry because the meaning, the majesty of the Mass had been deliberatly hidden from them in seminary. Once the TLM is more available due to pioneer efforts today it will begin to spread like wild fire and likely the NO Mass will fade away.
    May God’s priests learn and say the 1962 Mass with reverence and awe and may we all grow in holiness due to their efforts.

  25. michigancatholic says:


    Reality check: Most people who wanted the TLM up to this point knew better than to ask a bishop for it to his face, which might only cause trouble for oneself. They went and found it; they simply showed up. The TLM has always been around, even though sometimes one had to drive for it. As the pope said, it was never abrogated, but we knew that. Cardinal Hoyos and others said so many times.

    The main immediate effects of this MP are turning out to be:
    a) the change in the general belief about the extraordinary form, which should bolster attendance and increase trust (big pluses), and
    b) the shorter distance a person might have to drive to get to one (big plus), and
    c) the effects, positive or negative, that might be felt by priests who will be sort of caught in the middle in some cases (mixed bag).

    Americans have been far too literal about many things religious, including this. It’s one of the biggest problems American Catholics have. It’s one of the big reasons normal practicing catholics couldn’t get decent treatment for so long. To wit, Catholicism is not about paperwork; it’s about living the faith as it’s always been lived. The romans must think we’re all idiots who have to be told how to breathe.

    For instance, I remember that whole brouhaha we had 3-4 years ago about some bishops trying to force people to stand through the consecration. It went away pretty quickly, but it never needed to be that big. Think about it–what could they do to you? Put splints on your legs? They’d have to buy a lot of pairs, yes? Well, they never did. If anyone in the world can kneel when they want to, it’s Catholics. Duh. The worst case turned out to be driving to a neighboring parish where they did it different, because in general, American Catholicism was N.O. world 3-4 years ago, and everyone did it different. End of story and it was a good lesson for the more paper-brained of us.

    Bottom line: Don’t ask the bishop unless you’re expecting HIM to say one. Ask around to see where the extraordinary form is. Ask a priest for one nicely, and keep asking til you find one. And then show up.

  26. L_D says:

    I’ve been to the Mass of which you speak and at the time I had the impression that it was not all that supported. They only had the low Mass in spite of the fact that the parish had a large choir and a paraliturgical Schola Cantorum. The Masses were also relegated to the side chapel. The general impression that I had was that this Mass was tolerated and almost set up in order to discourage people from attending.
    It seems that most of the smaller Latin Mass communities that I’ve seen are little more than marginal and largely invisible appendages to the parish, and they’d like to keep it that way.
    It may be that I am just a bit cynical but what would you say about this?

  27. michigancatholic says:

    Fr Z,
    I also appreciate the postings here of the bishops’ statements because I do think they are, in a couple of ways, highly useful.

    They help priests to fathom the waters where they are. I know many are wondering about repercussions, what will happen, what we think and so on. And as far as laypeople go, we need to be kind to our priests, who seem once again to be “caught in the middle.” For example, in many cases, I’m convinced, it’s not necessarily many priests’ fault they don’t know the Latin to say the ordinary in its typical form (which is Latin). They have been malserved by the seminaries that didn’t teach them. They don’t need difficulties from us. They need support, books and help from us. For the most part they love us and want the best for us, and we them.

    The bishops’ statements also are helping us to identify what we’re dealing with in dioceses on other issues. It’s a “sounding tool” of great value. In that way, I believe, it’s giving the Holy See a look at who’s who. It must be turning out to be very useful in Rome–a good thing.

  28. CatherineS says:

    How does having women altar servers make a Tridentine Mass “the same” as the ordinary rite?

    My curiousity (which I could satisfy had I access to my library) is whether the Rite specifies, or whether it was simply the restrictions in place at that time (which I understand to have to do with the attitudes towards women’s roles and the potential for confusion of the faithful when “acolyte” was a Minor Order).

    Do not assume a desire for the Tridentine Rite, or an appreciation for the role of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church, means that someone does not approve of women serving as lectors, servers, presiders at the Divine Office etc. To do so is to potentially lose allies in bringing it into a local parish community.

  29. michigancatholic says:


    What “secular group” do you belong to? The New York Times?

  30. CatherineS says:

    michigancatholic – hardly. An all women’s college. Father is the only male at Mass, accepts women servers and lectors AND will celebrate in Latin or the Tridentine Rite if we desire. It was a serious question – and a serious comment. Do not confound the issues. And yes, I am seriously faithful to the Magisterium.

    That was uncalled for.

  31. michigancatholic says:

    No, it was an honest question. A women’s college eh? Which one, if you don’t mind my asking? [You made it sound like you were a member of a “secular community” ala the ancient lay order of female Carthusians from outer space or something like that.]

    Um, if you have an all-ladies (but one) N. O. mass there at the college, why do you need to branch out into something else that wouldn’t honestly look much different? I mean the extraordinary form done properly doesn’t really have a lot of accessory laypeople running around and if you insert them, you wouldn’t have much of an extraordinary form, anyway. You’d be mixing forms. You sound pretty happy the way your mass currently is, all things considered. I’m just wondering about the motivation, that’s all. Honestly, it’s strange and sounds like bending the rules to set a precedent.

    Understand that I’m taking the new spirit of inquiry honestly. The mass has been freed, which means abuses will probably occur [because like all defects and deformities, if they can occur they will at least once somewhere.] But it also means I would have the right to give you the raspberries and walk out were I to show up, because freedom and commonsense are also the order of the day. I’d just go to mass someplace else and be fine. You do realize that, right?

    I’m curious. Do you have liturgical dancing, too? Many all-girl colleges do.

  32. michigancatholic says:

    BTW, it’s not apparent from my nickname, but I’m a female, so no guy is picking on you, ok?

  33. CatherineS says:


    Sorry for the confusion around “secular community”, once you said it I could see how it might be construed. No, I won’t reveal the college, or even the country it’s in. Why would you think that you might be tempted to give a raspberry and walk out? (Which I might find rude and disrespectful, but of course would not stop you..) Why are you bringing up liturgical dance? (Of course we don’t…)

    You remind me of seminarian who once lectured me the evils of my divorce and delayed child bearing. You look, assume, pass judgement and then chide. Alas for him, the facts were seriously not as he assumed (mmmm…not every remarried woman has been divorced – some have been widowed, woman still marry at age 38 and if they are not using contraception, can get pregnant and may indeed welcome the children), and I knew his dean. Who did not find it quite as amusing a situation as did I….

    I’ll check the rubrics in my library myself when I return from holiday, and chat with the chaplain. I should not have been lazy and impatient — and likely uncharitable.

    Fine. (that would be Latin…).

  34. michigancatholic says:

    Seriously, Catherine, if you want to see a properly-done extraordinary form mass, you might have to look around a bit like the rest of us, and go beyond the comfort zone into tradition a little bit. You’ll want to see a genuine and properly rubricized one. I’ll be looking for them too.

    It’s an interesting time in the church and, I believe, a monumentally historic one because we’re leaving behind some erroneous things we picked up in the 20th century, including the silly liturgy wars which were largely social in nature, it turns out.

    I’m glad to hear you don’t have liturgical dancing. The local ladies college here does. The whole chapel is done out in pale blue goddess style. It’s pretty scary. If they said a Tridentine in there, the whole thing might explode in a big puff of red (excuse me, pink) smoke. ;) Brrrr.

  35. L_D says:

    I for one thought Catherine’s question was a good one. I’m extremely curious to know how these kind of details will be applied.
    Of course I am utterly opposed to female altar servers at forma extraordinaria Masses, but technically the official interpretation of canon 230 makes this option available in the Roman Church. Does this apply to the forma extraordinaria? I’ve yet to see a definitive answer to this question.

  36. michigancatholic says:


    A question:

    Is a definitive answer to each detail necessary? Does every possible permutation have to be legislated in the modern sense?

    In other words, must every detail be ostensibly liable to question in this particular literal way? Why? (not a trivial question)

    Are some things not handed down? What is the meaning of the word “tradition” and what is its place in the whole picture?

    I’m not telling you these things. I’m asking you what you think.

  37. Catherine and michigan: You are taking this down I rabbit hole. I don’t appreciate that very much.

  38. Chironomo says:

    Yes.. this string has gotten way off-topic! Back to the Good Bishop Adamec… this seems to be a closely related response to Bp. Trautmann, citing the Pope’s assurance the the Bishop
    “remains the moderator of the liturgy in his Diocese” without really emphasizing that the very next phrase in the Papal letter points out that his guidance must be within the law set forth in the MP. To paraphrase one of the posts above… while the MP doesn’t reduce any Episcopal authority, it also makes it clear that such authority, at least in relation to the liturgy, was never as great as most Bishops would like to think. Remember that today is the one-month anniversary of SP, and already we have come a long way in regards to making the dialogue public. It will take time, and in that time the attempts at restricting and regulating will be exposed, confronted and eliminated, clarifications will be made, and eventually everybody, Bishops, clergy and laity will understand what the MP really says and means and we can begin to make progress. This was how the Holy Father intended this to work… if not, he would have mandated that every parish immediately set aside one Mass every Sunday to be a TLM with mandatory training in the rite for all priests. In the long run, the course that has been taken will be shown to have been the right course all along. Have faith….

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