The lefty English Catholic tabloid The Tablet has an article in the 25 August issue. It is about the reaction to the Archbishop of Glasgow’s reaction to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. His Excellency Most Reverend Mario Conti’s had issued a harsh response, which we covered here.
My emphases and comments.
Conti questions demand for Old Rite
TRADITIONALISTS HAVE reacted with anger to a letter sent by the Archbishop of Glasgow setting out tough conditions [Hmm.. even The Tablet sees them as tough.] for the celebration of the Tridentine Rite.
Archbishop Mario Conti casts doubt on whether there is sufficient demand for the Old Rite to provide more than the one Mass he has already authorised in the archdiocese.
Like other Catholic bishops around the world, Archbishop Conti is required to implement Pope Benedict’s motu proprio which is designed to widen provision of the old Mass according to John XXIII’s 1962 missal for those Catholics who want it. The new regulations are to be implemented on 14 September.
But in his letter Archbishop Conti points out that the Pope is concerned that provision is made for “a stable group [bad translation of the Latin of the Motu Proprio.] of the faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical rite”.
“I find it difficult to envisage that there are any ‘stable groups’ in our diocese who ‘adhere’ to the 1962 Missal,” he writes. Archbishop Conti lays down that there should be just one celebration in the Old Rite on Sundays and feast days and that it should never replace the New Rite or “ordinary form”.
Quoting the Pope’s letter to bishops on the motu proprio, Archbishop Conti reminds priests that the new norms do not lessen bishops’
responsibility for liturgy. He expects to be consulted each time a priest wants to celebrate the Old Rite so that he can confirm the priest is suitably “qualified”. [I wonder if His Excellency is checking up on the liturgical practices of priests celebrating with the Novus Ordo.]
The chairman of the traditionalist Una Voce Society said he was “dismayed at the archbishop’s negative attitude”. Alex Todd added
that the letter contrasted with the statement made by the bishops of Scotland last month saying they intended to ensure the motu proprio’s provisions were fully available to those Catholics in Scotland who wanted the Old Rite.
Una Voce’s chaplain Mgr Hugh Boyle said that several “young” priests indicated an interest in learning the “extraordinary” form. Fr John Zuhlsdorf, a traditionalist American priest based in America, [Well… this is wrong is in two ways. First, I am not a "traditionalist". Second, have not been based in America for some years, though I am here now.] made public excerpts from Archbishop Conti’s letter on his blog describing them as “among the coldest, most hostile” he had read. [Still are, too.] A Catholic online discussion forum, Catholic Action UK, claimed that Archbishop Conti was attempting to frustrate the Pope’s intentions.
In response, Archbishop Conti’s office issued a statement saying his guidelines were not intended “in any way” to obstruct the Holy Father’s wishes. The archbishop explained that the intention of the motu proprio was to enable reconciliation for those who felt ostracised or marginalised, or had joined schismatic groups in response to the 1970 modernisation of the Mass. [This is simply WRONG. The Motu Proprio, like John Paul II’s in 1988, provides for anyone who is interested in the older form of Mass. It is NOT limited or intended only for people in questionable unity with the Holy See. If some person who is rather more attached ("the Archbishop’s use of "adhere" is misleading.) to the newer form would desire to attend the older form on occasion, that would be sufficient. All Catholics should be able to benefit from these provisions. They should not be shoved into a ghetto.] “In this the Holy Father is seeking to restore unity within the Church. I do not have any evidence that the archdiocese is affected in this way,” he said. [Well… I think by this very move the Archdiocese is NOW affected, since those hard norms laid down for the archdiocese are probably even now causing people who have never been anything but loyal to the Holy See and the Archbishop to "feel ostracised or marginalised"!]
Folks, you don’t have to be a "traditionalist" to want the Motu Proprio to be seen with openness and generosity by bishops and priests.
I am not a "traditionalist", in the sense desiring to use only the older form of Mass. I use both books, for the older and newer forms of Mass. I was was not ordained for a book after all. But I was ordained for the Latin Church, to use the Roman Rite! In that sense I am "traditional".
I am expending a lot of energy on this issue of the Motu Proprio for a couple reasons.
First, I firmly believe that more celebrations of the older Mass will help correct the way the Novus Ordo is celebrated.
Second, the Motu Proprio is just one component, albeit an important one, in Pope Benedict’s larger vision of continuity and healing in all sectors of the Church’s life. I think Pope Benedict is implementing a kind of "Marshal Plan" for the Church after the devastation we have experienced from a long dominant "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture", as he described it in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia in 2005. To my mind, every priest ought to back this document, and the other good provisions of the Holy See, and not hinder them.