Diocese of Lake Charles (LA) on the Motu Proprio – excellent!

The Diocese of Lake Charles in Louisiana, where His Excellency Most Reverend Glen J. Provost is bishop, has an article in the local newpaper, the American Press, about the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. If you open that PDF, scroll down.

My emphases and comments.

My dear People of God, there are two matters that I wish to address. Some of you have posed questions concerning two recent Vatican documents. The first is the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio allowing for greater freedom in celebrating the Latin Mass and the other is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s “Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church”. Documents from the Vatican often involve fine points that the popular press, in the interests of simplicity and ease, find difficult to convey. I cannot presume to answer all of the questions that have surfaced, but I would pray that what I say offers some clarification. I would address them in order.

A Motu Proprio is a document of great importance issued by a pope on a matter that adjusts a practice in the Church. In this case, the Motu Proprio is entitled “Summorum Pontificum” and states clearly that the Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI (as celebrated today in our parish churches) and the Mass of Pope St. Pius V, reissued by Blessed John XXIII (typically called the Tridentine Mass and celebrated at present only with special permission) are, and I quote, “two usages of the one Roman rite.” In Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to the bishops, he writes, “It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were ‘two Rites.’ Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.” At a practical level, beginning September 14, 2007, any priest, competent in Latin and in the rite itself, can celebrate the Mass of Pope St. Pius V, in the form published by Blessed John XXIII. No further permission is needed. The role of the bishop is to insure “that all is done in peace and serenity” [Right.] (the Papal Explanatory Letter to Bishops of July 7, 2007). This, of course, I intend to do. Is this a return to the past? Pope Benedict XVI does not think so. Nor do I.  [Excellent!] “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too,” the pope writes. If one studies the history of the Church carefully, one finds that the Church has always found room for multiple usages in the Roman Rite. [YES!] I recall as a child encountering the “Dominican Rite” with its slight variations while serving Mass or learning about the ancient “Ambrosian Rite” celebrated in Milan, Italy. The history of the Church is rich, and the Church is universal. It is much broader than anyone can possibly imagine. In effect, what Pope Benedict XVI has done is respond to a need. In providing for the normal celebration of an older form, the pope is answering the need many have expressed. There are those for whom the older usage of the rite is expressive, uplifting, and prayerful. Why not provide for this need without prejudice to the newer rite? [VERY GOOD!]  As the pope states, “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows” (the Papal Explanatory Letter to Bishops of July 7, 2007). As bishop, my role is to act as moderator for the liturgy in the diocese. For that reason I must insure that the Mass of the Roman Rite is celebrated authentically and reverently, whether in the form promulgated by Pope Paul VI or the form of Pope St. Pius V promulgated by Pope Blessed John XXIII.  [Very well said!]

[The rest of the letter from the Bishop concerns the recent CDF document.]

 What an excellent statement!

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  1. John H says:

    Prelates such as His Excellency, Glen J. Provost truly deserve our most sincere gratitude. I do hope we can thank them accordingly, perhaps with spiritual bouguets and other appropriate gestures.

  2. jmgarciaiii says:

    Praise God, and may He keep and bless His Excellency!


  3. Timothy James says:

    It seemed from the opening that he may make the same mistakes that we have seen before, referring to the extraordinary form as “the Latin Mass,” which we know is not correct since the Novus Ordo Mass also has Latin as it’s ordinary language. But throughout the article he came to articulate the differences between different rites and forms better than anyone we have seen yet. The details
    he included distinguising between the Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the
    Mass of Pope St. Pius V promulgated by Pope Blessed John XXIII.

    Also, having a special devotion to Bl. John XXIII, I love to see people include
    the “blessed” before his name!

  4. DoB says:

    Pray God will stir the hearts and faith of Bishops to be more like this man. The Church needs them.

  5. Justin J says:

    We are very lucky to have Bishop Provost here in Lake Charles. Practically as soon as he was consecrated and installed, he began making plans for the celebration of the extraordinary form in Lake Charles, including sending two priests to the FSSP’s Priest Training Program for the Tridentine Mass in Nebraska. This was before Summorum Pontificum as promulgated. At this time, there are three priests who are making preparations at different churches for celebration of the extraordinary form, starting Sept. 14. There are rumors that Bishop Provost wishes to celebrate a Pontifical Solemn High Mass at the Cathedral. We’ve been eagerly awaiting His Excellency’s response to the Motu Proprio and it appears that it was well worth the wait.

    Thank you, Bishop Provost.

  6. Drew says:

    Father –
    I have been going to the only Tridentine Mass here in the diocese of rochester for over a year. The church is over an hour away from where I live. So I have spoken with a priest at my parish here in Western NY. He knows his latin very well and I asked him if the parish would institute at least one extraoridinary form of the Mass at one of the four churches in the parish. He spoke with our parish priest, and the priest had the audacity to tell him to ask me “Is an hour REALLY that far away?”. The priest, Fr. Twardzik, a great man, said he would have no problem with celebrating the extraordinary form, but the pastor is not going to have any of it. He said, “until the boss changes his mind, it won’t happen.” I’m just wondering what I should do now. Write to the Bishop? I’m absolutely sure nothing would come out of it. Bishop Matthew Clark has only been generous enough to ALLOW one Tridentine Mass in his diocese. Thanks.

  7. David M.O'Rourke says:

    This comment really doesn’t fit here but I don’t know quite where to put it otherwise. The other day a comment was made about the Confiteor at Communion being omitted in the 1962 Missal. This is true and yet many pictures on the Internet of approved Masses celebrated even by Cardinals shows it being sung by the deacon and subeacon at the north and sousth ends of the altar respectively.

    On a website entitled “Sancta Missa” the Ordinary of the Mass is laid out according to the 1962 Missal but at the Peopels Communion it states:

    Communion of the Faithful
    [ Although not in the 1962 Missale Romanum, the Confiteor before the Communion of the Faithful has been approved for use by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.].

    That clarifies matters. It is worth noting that the 1962 does not forbid the Confiteor. It just leaves it out. The Ecclesia Dei Commision may have been clarifying an unintended omission. I suppose it’s possible in light of the Motu Proprioo that the matter will be re-visited but since it is commonly being used now and with permission there seems to be no reason to forbid it.

    David M.O’Rouke

  8. Craig says:

    This is a response to Drew’s comment above. Why not ask Fr. Twardzik if he would consider offering a private mass with you assisting? No one, not even the parish priest, can prohibit that.

  9. michigancatholic says:

    I have a hunch that there are some big power players in the USCCB who overshadow a lot of good bishops of smaller places, thus we get an unfortunate view of all of them which is not always warranted. We are seeing some good bishops in smaller places pipe up! Bravo!

  10. ED says:

    Bishop Provost was barely a month as Bishop of Lake Charles when he sent 2 of his younger priests to the FSSP training week on the Latin Mass Excellent!!!!

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