Bp. Campbell of Columbus on Summorum Pontificum

Someone was good enough to send the Motu Proprio statement by His Excellency Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Bishop of Columbus.  The form in which it was sent to me was a total mess, so I have had to clean it up and make it useable.  This means that the original format of the statement has been lost.  Sorry about that.

Folks, if you send me something, please send it in a useable format.

In any event, I will preface this that I know Bp. Campbell a little and like him.

That said, let’s look at the statement with my emphases and comments.


Frederick F. Campbell to the clergy of the Diocese of Columbus

Dear Father/Deacon:

On September 14, 2007, the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum regarding the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite according to the 1962 Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII, goes into effect. I would like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts which I hope will result in the orderly and correct implementation of the provisions of that letter in the Diocese of Columbus. I have attached copies of this letter and other helpful materials for your reference.

At the outset, I believe that it is important to consider the context of this document and the causes which occasioned its issuance. The Holy Father’s desire is to restore and foster the unity of the Body of Christ, and to provide for the pastoral care of those faithful who are attached to the earlier form of the Mass. [This is good.  He doesn’t limit the provisions only to people in questionable unity with the Church.] In his accompanying letter to the Bishops, the Holy Father noted that the desire for the older form of the Mass arose “… above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, [He brings in another dynamic.  Heal not only people and foster unity, but heal also breaks in the way all Masses are celebrated.] but the latter (Missal of 1970) actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear.” That being the case, it is my hope that the Diocese of Columbus will be a model for the smooth implementation of Summorum Pontificum. Unity and peace should always surround the sacred liturgy. It is my hope that all priests will grow in the love of the Holy Mass and offer it with reverence and care, no matter which Missal is followed. With that in mind, I would offer the following guidelines for implementation.


Priests are permitted to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal in celebrations without the people. However, any priest desiring to do so must first become completely familiar with the rubrics and ceremonies of this form of the Mass. [I would hope this means "any form of the Mass", lest there be a risk of a double standard.  Also, I wonder what "completely" means.] Sufficient knowledge of Latin [This is a little vague… which is good!  Knowledge should be "sufficient"!  A reasonable reading of this was provided by His Eminence Edward Card. Egan, who wrote that the priest should be able to pronounce the words properly.  Of course we hope for a great deal more than that.] and some form of training [that’s reasonable… but the form of that training usually greatly varies in priests who learn the older Mass.] in the rubrics and ceremonies of the 1962 Missal ought to be considered prerequisites in order for any priest to celebrate Mass according to the Extraordinary Form, even without the people. Resources and referrals for training can be obtained by contacting the Office of Liturgy. [Excellent!]


Priests who celebrate Mass without the people according to the 1962 Missal may admit members of the faithful to the celebrations if they spontaneously request it but these celebrations may not be announced or publicized ahead of time[Hmmm… I wonder if that is really what a private Mass is.] Priests should not binate in order to offer Mass without the people according to the 1962 Missal, since that faculty may be invoked only for the pastoral needs of the people. (cf C.905) [Here is a bit of a problem.  Does this risk a double standard?  It seems there are lots of priests binating everywhere, and not always for pastoral needs of the people.  For example, it very often happens that priests will celebrate Mass in their parishes and, later in the day, go to another Mass, say for the funeral of a priest, and he will concelebrate.  That means he is binating, even if he is not taking a stipend.  The priest might concelebrate Mass for various reasons.   So, I am left scratching my head about this.  It can’t be that His Excellency is now saying to his priests that if they have already said Mass, they can never concelebrate for funerals or diocesan celebrations.  I admit I may be ignorant of the details of bination, but doesn’t this seems to be a bit of a double-standard?] The 1962 Missal may not be used for regularly scheduled parish Masses unless the conditions for offering Mass for a stable group [Here is that bad English translation again.] of the faithful attached to the older form of the Mass are truly fulfilled.  [And those conditions, as they are in the Motu Proprio are very relaxed.  It would seem to somewhat difficult to make those provisions as expressed in the Latin more restrictive than they are.]


Article 5 of the Apostolic Letter addresses a pastoral concern for those who are attached to the older liturgical tradition. These persons have a right [Excellent] to their spiritual life and to worship according to this approved albeit extraordinary form of the Roman rite (cf. C.214). Pastors are obliged [Excellent] to respond to requests for celebrations according to the 1962 Missal in the spirit of pastoral charity and with prudence. The Holy Father, in his letter to Bishops, states "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." In areas where there is a stable group [there is that bad translation again] of the faithful in sufficient numbers (Since conditions vary from place to place, a good rule to follow is a number comparable to the average attendance at daily Mass in a given place. [I am really puzzled by why this is a good rule of thumb when the Motu Proprio doesn’t specify a number.  On the other hand, it is entirely reasonable that a pastor of a parish might not reasonably or prudently, given his time and energy, undertake a parish wide change for a very small group of people.  Still… small initiatives can grow, can’t they?  Perhaps the language of "rule of thumb" is okay.] They also must be a “stable group,” i.e. rooted in the local church community. [This is disappointing.  It is all based on that bad English translation of the Latin original.]) who request these celebrations, it is advisable that the priests of the deanery collaborate to plan how best to meet their pastoral needs. [That is reasonable and smart.] They should discuss among themselves which priests would be best suited to celebrate these Masses, or would be willing and available to learn to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form; [The only problem I have with this stems from my conviction that all priests should know how to celebrate in their particular rite.  This is part and parcel of good priestcraft, ("priestcraft" understood in a positive light, of course, rather than the usual pejorative).  Priests of the Latin Church, of the Roman Rite, should know both uses of that Rite!  Furthermore, pastors of parishes need to be able to respond willingly to the petitions presented to them.  I think priests should  do their best to learn the older form so they can respond to reasonble requests themselves, and not farm it out to someone else.] they should discuss which church or churches would be most suitable for the celebrations, taking into consideration the liturgical requirements and the convenient access of the faithful. [That is refreshing.] They should also discuss the scheduling of these celebrations so that the needs of the people are sufficiently met while avoiding an unnecessary number of celebrations according to the Extraordinary Form. [WHOA!  This is odd.  It seems to me that if there are groups in every or many parishes who make these requests, and the Holy Father clearly said that this involves effort on the part of the PASTOR, who has the right to make the decision about public Masses, then it would be wrong to say that there would be unnecessary celebrations.] The advice of the Chancery should be sought in these discussions.


When the Missal of 1962 is followed, the laws and customs appropriate to that rite must be observed:

a) The place of celebration must meet the requirements of the older liturgy. Churches that have retained the old altar are best suited for this rite, ["use"] but other altars can in many cases be adapted.

b) A trained server, capable of accurately making the Latin responses, is required for any celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, even those without the people. Only males may act as altar servers. [It is good to remember that service at the altar by females is something that diocesan bishops can regulate.  He can say yes or no, since it is an exception.]

c) In Masses in which Holy Communion is given to members of the faithful, the ordinary minister is the priest and the faithful receive communion only under the species of bread, and only on the tongue. The faithful kneel to receive communion unless infirmity prevents them form doing so.   [This shows sensitivity to the needs of the people most likely to be attending these Masses regularly.]

d). The role of the deacon is limited to those functions specifically assigned to the deacon in the rubrics. [I am not sure what this is about.]


To assist the Chancery in providing the faithful who inquire with an accurate schedule of Extraordinary Form Masses in their vicinity, priests who regularly offer Masses according to this Form are asked to register those scheduled Mass times and locations with the Chancery Office. This will also enable the Chancery to assess the actual availability of the Extraordinary Form throughout the Diocese in the future. I know that many other questions will arise in the weeks and months ahead to which we do not yet have answers. The USCCB is in the process of seeking information and clarification of certain points. I will supply updated information to you as it becomes available.

Thanking you for your attention to this, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D.

This statement shows some clear sensitivity to some important issues. 

First, I very much like the fact that His Excellency says that resources will be supplied for priests.  Support for the priests is paramount, because in many ways this Motu Proprio is aimed at priests.  It is a great gift to them.

Second, this statement does not restrict in any way the sort of person who might be interested in this form of Mass.  That is very important.

At the same time, there are a couple points in here that leave me scratching my head.  This issue of bination raises questions.  I might need to be educated by a canonist about this.  It seems to me that this point skates around the double-standard problem.

There are very positive features in this statement which must be applauded!

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  1. “The role of the deacon is limited to those functions specifically assigned to the deacon in the rubrics.”

    You ask what this may mean. For the benefit of permanent deacons who are unfamiliar with the classical use, they would need to know that assisting as in the reformed use (the “Novus Ordo” if you will) is limited to the Missa Solemnis, and that the deacon (correct me if I’m wrong here) is an extraordinary minister of communion in the classical use, unless the universal law of the Latin rite renders that distinction moot.

    As to the double standard regarding competence, even a casual observation would show that the older missal is more difficult to use than the new missal, thus the need to raise the bar. It sounds from the overall tone of the letter as if he is being quite favorable toward the motu proprio.

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: This issue of bination raises questions.

    There surely are priests all over this country routinely saying multiple daily Masses. Some probably have multiple-parish assignments that necessitate celebration of 3 or even 4 Masses on Sundays.

    But I don’t recall much previous concern with these “bination questions”. Might it be possible that the current questions arise only in case the 2nd (or 3rd) Mass is a TLM? But not if it is (say) a Spanish Mass?

    The way English words are changing meaning nowadays, might “bination” soon come to mean “double standard”?

  3. Paul says:

    Whilst I think that bishops are using this as an excuse, the canon on bination (c.905) is quite clear: priests may only celebrate twice a day (or three times on a Sunday) when permitted to do so by law or by a local Ordinary (bishop or his vicars). The law permits it inter alia for Christmas Day and All Souls Day. In most dioceses the permission of the Ordinary is given freely or indeed presumed. It may only be done though for pastoral needs or a just cause (e.g. funerals, or weddings, or Masses in schools, hospitals, etc.), not for the personal devotion of the priest, especially not if his Mass sine populo really is sine populo since one must not celebrate alone without just cause (c.906). If a priest has a group coming for Mass in the 1962 form at a different time from the Mass in the 1970 form, he could reasonably binate (unless his bishop has made it clear that he has not given a general permission for bination in that diocese, in which case he would need his Ordinary’s permission for an extra Mass). If he just wants to say Mass in both uses on the same day, or if the 1962 use was immediatly before or after the 1970 use, there’s just no need for bination, and so its prohibited (apart from on Christmas day, and All Souls Day, of course).

    Sorry this is a bit long.

  4. Fr. A says:

    Actually, our faculties in our diocese (not Columbus) state that trination can be done on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (no more than two on a weekday). It further states that more than three Masses can never be said on any given day (Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation).

  5. Richard T says:

    Oh dear, this looks like being potentially a large hole in Summorum Pontificum.

    Paul seems to have it about right; the problem is that the priest can only binate if there is a pastoral need.

    This makes it more important to determine what a “private” Mass is. If a reasonable number of people privately attend then there is a pastoral reason and so the priest can binate – I hope I’m not giving the restrictors ammunition here but the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia says that “theologians are agreed that it [permission to binate] should not be given unless about thirty persons would otherwise be put to notable inconvenience” – so there may have to be MORE for a private Mass than a public one!

    If a private Mass really cannot be advertised then it might usually be difficult to get a sufficient congregation to justify binating.

    Highly annoying, because of course this is one of the rules that has been widely ignored for years.

  6. Louis E. says:

    Certainly favorable compared to the two cardinals whose statements recently appeared in comboxes at Rorate Caeli…the Patriarch of Lisbon and especially the Archbishop of Jakarta,whose reaction to the Motu proprio,as rendered in broken English,appeared to be to prohibit the TLM completely.

  7. Richard T says:

    Or of course there’s Fr Finigan’s argument that a priest doesn’t need a “coetus” to hold a public “extraordinary” Mass (he “should do” if asked by a group, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t do it anyway).

  8. Paul says:

    I agree with Richard T (which is just, since he seems to have agreed with me!),
    It is highly annoying that an ignored rule is now being used against the Extraordinary Form. Obviously a law can fall out of use due to contrary custom, and if the issue of bination is ignored long enough (at least 30 years from 1983) then it may “go away”. Nonetheless if we ignore rules that don’t suit then we’re no better than those 70s liberals who cahnged anything they didn’t like. If using the 1962 form is that important to us, then we should try to convince others to come to that Mass so as to make a reasonable number for a public Mass, if its just a personal foible then its no excuse to break the rules. This must be really hard for priests whose parishoners show no interest, or indeed would positivley choose not to have the 1962 form. They have no real oppertunity to legally celebrate it, even after SP (other than on holiday). It is important to remember though that we’re priests for our people and for the Salvation of their souls. We can’t just impose our views on others, we must leda them their in charity.

  9. Matthew M says:

    This document is interesting. My wife and I attend the only ‘indult’ mass in the Columbus Diocese (at Holy Family). We understood that requests made earlier this year by the pastor to expand to a weekday schedule had been denied. Thus it was with a great deal of anticipation that many in our ..coetus had looked forward to the Motu Proprio.

    It is encouraging to see that Bishop Campbell (who is by many counts a good and orthodox fellow) is giving a constructive framework for implementing Summorum Pontificum. There is talk of a number of diocesan priests near Columbus working some 1962 into their schedules.

    The Holy Spirit has used the TLM to bear much fruit in the diocese so far: Holy Family has sent a number of men and women to religious vocations in recent years. This is in spite of smaller size and run-down location of the parish. That has to get a Bishop’s attention if nothing else does, wouldn’t you think?

  10. Emily says:

    Whew! I’m glad that, overall, this gets Fr. Z’s approval! I’m a member of the Columbus Diocese and just read this in our local paper last week. I was a little bit confused but this dissection has really helped me out. I hope that my parish will be participating in this!

  11. Fr. Stephen says:

    I am perplexed about the bishop’s notion that the priest who plans to celebrate a Mass in the Extradordinary Use cannot announce that fact. Is he required to keep his plan a secret unless someone just happens to ask him about it. I plan to celebrate the ancient use on All Souls Day in the evening when I normally do not have a Mass. I will not put it on the schedule in the bulletin, but cannot I tell people that I will be doing it and that they are welcome to attend.
    This just sounds goofy to me that I have to keep quiet about it…or do I?

  12. Richard T says:

    I think I’ve got the answer.

    Popes can give general permission to binate (see the Catholic Encyclopedia article I linked to earlier – “Pope Benedict XIV conceded to all priests of the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal the privilege of saying three Masses on All Souls’ Day”.

    Summorum Pontificum says (para 5:2) that “Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.”

    Now, that must be general permission from the Pope to binate – otherwise it would would have said that the celebration was subject to the usual norms for binating (for example as was done with the specific mention of the Triduum).

  13. Fr Stephen says:

    I knew a young priest who regularly offered Mass with all sorts of abuses in his parish Church and then went back to his bedroom to say a private Mass according to the 1962 Missal. He made no attempt to reform the public Liturgy but consoled himself by saying the daily private Mass (without a server).
    Perhaps this is what the bishop wants to avoid with his reference to bination? After all we also want the MP to help improve the ‘ordinary’ form.

  14. Jacob says:

    Father, in regards to this post and the ‘am I being fair’ post, I think you are definitely being fair.

    However, I do think that your constant criticisms regarding the USCCB’s English translation might be a bit excessive. The USCCB’s translation is all some of these non-Latin-knowledgeable people have to go on.

    While you are certainly fair in your assessments, perhaps you could be fair in your reporting and offer us your thoughts on why the Holy See or Ecclesia Dei has not offerred an official English translation. Certainly the blame has to be shared when Rome has allowed the USCCB’s crummy translation to become entrenched over the past few months.

  15. Peggy Halpin says:

    Thought you might like to learn that as the bell tower of the new chapel at Thomas Aquina College in Santa Paula, Califormia was given it’s final touch on The Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, the college announced that the Extrordinary Rite would henceforth be celebrated each weekday and once on Sunday on the campus! There are many longtime supporters and alumni who are grateful. God bless you.

  16. I’m afraid I must agree that it is unfortunate that the holy See has not seen fit to release an official English translation that would hopefully clear up some of these misunderstandings that have resulted from bad translation.
    Further how long is Ecclesia Dei going to wait before “clarifying” why the positions of some of these American (and other) bishops are in opposition to the wishes of the Holy Father as stated in Summorum Pontificum?

  17. r says:

    father, i can understand you liking our bishop he seems like a nice guy, and i pray for him daily. however with that said he has a great reputation for persecuting the traditional mass,and in some cases tradition period .we asked for daily mass just for lent and we were denied regularly attend the indult mass but in my home parish where my kids go to school we needed a new principle.the pastors choice was known as being thoroughly orthodox,the nominally catholic teachers at the school made a big stink and our bishop sided with the teachers union.i could tell you many more things but out of charity i wont. with all that being said, whatever criticism you have of his guideline’s i cant see considering this document more generous. its way way more generous than i would have imagined in my wildest dreams.also to put your mind at ease concerning the part about,” a number comparable to the average attendance at daily Mass in a given place.” the average attendance at any given mass in this Diocese is 3 with very few exceptions.

  18. Tim says:

    I think our Bishops statment was very good. He has shown himself to be loyal to the Holy Father plus what makes them really good is look at what the other Diocese around us are saying (in paticular Cinncinati and Stuebenville). I thank God for Bishop Campbell our Bishop Fr. Lutz our indult priest (although indults dont exist anymore) and the Mass of JohnXXIII!

  19. Holy Family Parishoner says:

    Father Z,

    The other good thing the Columbus diocese has going for it is that one of its main canon lawyers actually started the indult Mass in Columbus ten years ago. He moved the Mass to Holy Family and has subsequently gone on to be pastor at another church here in Columbus. He was the celebrant of our Solemn High Mass on Sept. 14 so if there is any problems, the good Monsignor should be able to work them out.

  20. HFC says:

    We are very lucky to have Bishop Campbell. About a year ago the bishop gave permission (and it was announced at Mass by the pastor) for the parish to have Latin baptisms, weddings and funerals any time they were requested. Prior to that it was policy to request these individually. That certainly shows that the Bishop is not hostile to the TLM. As I have read the many statement by bishops it looks like Columbus (tucked in between the Cincinnati Inquisition and the Steubenville Intimidation) won the Motu Proprio lottery!


  21. Kimberly says:

    I am extremely proud to be a member of the Diocese of Columbus and have never been more grateful for the leadership of Bishop Campbell. Our good Bishop has demonstrated his loyalty to our Holy Father and has provided for his Diocese one of the more generous interpretations of Summorum Pontificum. The “heart” of our Holy Father’s document is being revealed, and I thank His Excellency, Bishop Campbell, for setting an example by his firm leadership. As a Holy Family parishioner, I appreciate only too well the beauty of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and continue to pray that the Mass be loved by all, no matter what Form is celebrated. May God be praised and thank you again, Bishop Campbell!

    BTW…thank you Fr. Z, for your knowledge and insight – and the clarity you bring to those things that elude the layman!

  22. Nina says:

    I don’t really think the bishop’s change of heart is the result of blackmail.
    Rather, he realizes that he isn’t going to St. Paul and that he’s going to die a Buckeye.
    Now, he’s starting to act like a bishop even if that only means doing as he’s told.

    E.G. Allowing baptisms prior to the MP and allowing priests to use both forms
    without asking for permission.

  23. Matthew M says:

    It’s easy to malign the motives of a priest or bishop. It has been said of many bishops that they do this or that because of their concern for later promotion to more prestigious sees. There is no doubt that ambition and calculations regarding it are in the hearts of some of these men.

    But it’s uncharitable and unfair for us to assume this is true. They are rather ordinary men with an extraordinary calling, and with tremendous responsibility. It should be no surprise if some of them do frustrating things, and equally no surprise when they do the right thing.

    In the case of Bishop Campbell of Columbus, there is no apparent evidence to doubt his sincerity in trying to implement the Holy Father’s document.

  24. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    There are all sorts of problems with this bishop’s regulations. First of all, the provision of S.P. that a priest must be capable [idoneus] is part of Article 5, which pertainS ONLY to parish Masses. In no way does it pertain to the ‘regularly unscheduled’ Masses which are the subject of Articles 2 and 4. Hence I must disagree with Fr. Z’s “Excellent” comment here, no offence intended. If the idoneus restriction applied to Article 2, it would need either to form a separate Article to apply to all Masses mentioned in the norms, or else it would need to be repeated as a section of Article 2. It is not. In fact, Article 2 explicitly states that no permission from anyone is needed for these Masses. Clearly, the celebrant need not even inform his Bishop about these Masses. Quod erat demonstrandum. Moreover, I agree with Bishop Rifan that the ordering of the norms suggests that a priest can *learn* the rubrics and Latin in Masses sine populo, then invite some guests, and then introduce public Masses. In other words, the Pope himself is suggesting a way to ensure that celebrants at public Masses are capable of offering Mass in a dignified way.

    Next, Fr. Z., in one case, I do think that the Bishop is at least ‘close’ in his understanding of ‘private’ Masses. Under the new Code, there is really no such thing (cf. Canon 837.1). To term them Masses ‘sine populo’ is nonsensical when they can include invited guests (it is liturgyspeak: Masses ‘sine populo … sed cum populo!). Surely, those guests are people and not, say, people’s pets! Over several letters from the P.C.E.D., it has been clarified that the so-called private Mass is best termed a ‘regularly unscheduled’ Mass. On any day, the celebrant may post an announcement of the *next* Mass but not more than one in accordance to any regular schedule (e.g. every Sunday, every Tuesday, every other Thursday, First Fridays, every third Sunday).

    The bishop’s reference to Canon 905 is erroneous. A bishop can forbid a priest from binating or trinating but, if he has generally allowed binatinon or trination, he would have to order a specific priest not to binate in order to celebrate the old Mass. (If he did so, the priest could refuse to celebrate the New Mass more than once on Sunday as well, since no priest can ever be *required* to binate; it is only an allowance. Imagine how *that* would affect pastoral need.)

    The Bishop cannot issue a general order that bination is only allowed to celebrate New Masses because every priest has a general right to celebrate both Masses. It is true that trination is only allowed for a pastoral need, but bination is allowed if there is a scarcity of priests, whether pastoral need requires it or not (vide Canon 905.2). Furthermore, satisfying the needs of invited guests who spontaneously ask for this is a pastoral need because, as the Church has already declared firmly, the attachment of some to the old Mass is “legitimate” (cf. Ecclesia Dei, for example).

    As I have proved irrefutably already, the Bishop’s next statement about the continuously-existing group is completely fallacious. I urge the Bishop to re-read Article 5 together with the last paragraph of Article 1. Article 1 asserts a general right of priests to celebrate the 1962 Mass. It does not refer to the special case of ‘private Masses’; it refers to all Masses. Article 5.1, I repeat, Article 5.1, DOES NOT REQUIRE the existence, let alone the petition, of any group of anybody, whether stable or continuously-existing or adhering to pop music for that matter. READ 5.1 AGAIN! It says that, WHERE such a group exists, the priest is enjoined to satisfy it; but it does NOT say such a group need exist in order for a parish priest to schedule a 1962 Mass in the Parish. What is not forbidden is permitted, especially when a general right to the 1962 Mass has been asserted in Article 1. Yes, incredibly, the parish priest can celebrate at least one Sunday 1962 Mass even if not one single individual has requested it; and if the Bishop tries to use Canon 905 to stop him, he can enlist the help of a retired priest who can *not* be stopped.

    Retired priests are the veritable bane of the bishops under S.P. Under their terms of retirement, they can never be forced to celebrate any Mass ever. But, if they are in good standing, they cannot be prevented from celebrating once (and no more than once) a day; in fact, they are encouraged to do so by the law itself (cf. Canon 904). But because they have a right to use either the Missal of 1962 or that promulgated in 1970 (S.P., Article 1), any retired priest could choose to celebrate the 1962 Mass exclusively.

    Next will come my analysis of this Bishop’s remarks about Parish Masses (III). I apologise to Fr. Z about these remarks but I crave his indulgence. This analysis desperately needs to be made known.


  25. Chris says:

    arg. Father, I don’t mean to troll, but you keep closing comments on the posts I want to comment on. Some of your readers left comments on my blog yesterday. I’m sure they likely won’t be swayed by what I have to say, but I posted another response here.

    And I don’t think you’re being unfair.

  26. Tobias says:

    There’s another feature of the Extraordinary Form “private Mass” that hasn’t been mentioned, I think – possibly because it’s self-evident, but just to be sure: A truly “private Mass” cannot, as far as I understand it, be a “dialogue Mass”. That is, the responses should be made only by the server and not by any other faithful assisting at that Mass. Also, the server would be kneeling for most of the Mass – in contradistinction to what is proposed (Fortescue-O’Connell) for a dialogue low Mass or for a missa cantata in which the congregation takes actively part, in which cases the servers are recommended to stand for the Creed etc., so as to guide the congregation. At least that’s what I plan to do as I serve my first EF missa cantata in a few weeks’ time.

  27. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to Part III of this Bishop’s regulations, I very much agree with the thrust of Fr. Z.’s remarks. Father reminds us at one point at what a parish priest should consider to be reasonable. That is the crux of the matter. What most analysists have failed to realise is that the restrictions “in parÅ“ciis”, “adhærentium”, “continenter”, and “cÅ“tus” DO NOT refer to bishops’ rights over priests; rather, they refer to priests’ rights over faithful. This is made clear by the wording and context.

    Let me put it this way. If a group of faithful petition a parish priest under Article 5.1, the parish priest may refuse their request on the explicit grounds that, in his judgement, the group is not part of the parish community or that its members are clearly not attached to the Latin liturgical tradition (if that be the case). The restrictions here are not exhaustive; there could be others. For example, he could refuse on the grounds that he is overburdened with work or that such allowance would be divisive or even that the charism of the old Mass undermines his own liturgical sensibilities, making recollection difficult. He is enjoined but not strictly required to accede to groups’ requests.

    These restrictions do NOT apply to bishops obstructing priests. A bishop may not say to the parish priest that he is forbidden to celebrate the 1962 Mass on the grounds that the petitioners are foreign to the parish, are not continuously-existing in the parish, or are not attached to the Latin liturgical tradition. Clearly, the locus of authority in 5.1 is the parish priest, not the bishop. The bishop only comes into the picture in the second sentence of that Section: he can intervene in the scheduling of Masses to ensure harmonisation. This implies not a forbidding of the 1962 Mass but an ensurance that the time of its celebration does not impede a right of reasonable access to the New Mass for the faithful.

    The restrictions of Article 5.4 do apply to bishops’ authority but only in regard to Article 5, of which the section is a part. The bishop, as moderator of the liturgy, can see to it that the Mass is celebrated in a dignified way, and that the celebrant is able to provide this. This means that he must be able to pronounce the Latin accurately in accordance with one of the several systems of Latin Latin pronunciation (they differed somewhat from country to country) and the must know the rubrics and choreography, and he must use the proper vestments and so on.

    The bishops MAY NEVER apply Section 4 of Article 5 to Article 2. The reason is that, once ordained, priests have a fundamental right to celebrate at least in non-parochial Masses in their own proper lingua sacra. This general right is enshrined in Canon 928. No bishop can make a section of one Article apply to any part of another Article. Only the Holy See, the lawgiver here, can do that. This Bishop cannot make Section 4 of Article 5 apply to Article 2.


  28. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I agree with Paul’s statement about bination and trination. But it is not a hole in our armour at all. If there is general permission to trinate on Sundays and holydays and binate on other days, the bishop would need to forbid it to a particular priest in order to stop the priest from celebrating the old Mass. However, if the bishop forbids trination and/or bination, he cannot forbid it specifically for the old Mass. He either allows it for all Masses or he forbids it. If he allows it, the priest may choose which Masses he will celebrate, provided that he reasonably meets the needs of those attached to the New Mass. If he disallows bination or trination, it is a disallowance for more than one Mass of either ‘form’. The Bishop cannot pick and choose over this because the law grants a general allowance to use both Missals. This is made explicit especially in Article 2 of S.P. by referring to the two in tandem.

    Furthermore, under Canon 202.1, a liturgical day begins and ends at midnight. But Sunday Masses can be celebrated by anticipation on Saturday afternoons and evenings. A priest forbidden to binate could meet the needs of a small parish by celebrating one Sunday Mass on Saturday afternoon and then one 1962 Mass on Sunday morning. One allowed to binate but not to trinate could celebrate one 1962 Mass and one 1970 Mass on Sunday morning, plus one 1970 Mass of anticipation on Saturday afternoon.

    And, best of all, if a disallowance to binate impedes a parish priest, he can fly in a retired priest WHO CAN’T BE TOUCHED by the Bishop. Nope: we win; they lose.

    Once again, I cannot reiterate enough the importance of retired priests under S.P. Article 5, notice, refers to parish priests scheduling Masses but not necessarily celebrating them themselves. They can celebrate such Masses or enlist other priests to do so. Under their terms of retirement, no retired priest can ever be required to celebrate any Mass of either rite. But every retired priest has an untouchable right to celebrate according to either Missal once per day; in fact, the law encourages this (Canon 904). This means that a certain retired priest named Fr. Oldcrust could celebrate 1962 Masses exclusively at the invitation of a parish priest; he could do so at the High Altar of the Parish Church and there is not one thing Bishop Adamec could do about it. Not a thing.



  29. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    A parallel

    While I don’t mean to overstate the case, I think that my point about Article 5 really needs to be considered carefully. The reason is that bishops all over the world are misinterpreting it to their own advantage.

    Following is a short parallel.

    Mummy says to Johnny: Johnny, you be a good boy today. If your sister Jane asks you for a candy, I want you to give her one. I will not force you, Johnny, but this is what mummy wants.

    Johnny is enjoined to give a candy to Jane if Jane asks for one.

    But suppose that Jane does not ask for a candy. Does this mean that Johnny is not allowed to give her one? Suppose that he wants to give her a candy because he loves his little sister: “Janey, would you like a candy?” So he asks, she accepts, he turns it over.

    Now, Article 5 says that, if a certain type of group in a parish asks for a 1962 Mass, the parish priest should give it to them, even if this is not a strict requirement.

    But suppose no such group lodges such a request? Is the parish priest allowed to give them this Mass even if nobody asks for it?

    The answer lies in Article 1 and in Canons dealing with the parish priest’s control over parish Masses (e.g. Canon 530, No. 7; Canon 534.1): he can do it because he has a general right to offer that Mass.

    If a group asks, it should get this liturgical candy. But if it doesn’t ask, Fr. Johnny can still schedule it on his own authority. Bishop Mummy need not even be informed of this charitable act.


  30. Legisperitus says:

    Remember how a lot of people speculated that Cardinal Castrillon was being punished for something (perhaps for setting up the IBP in France) when he was removed from his post at the Congregation for the Clergy? Now it’s patently clear that the PCED is going to be more than a full-time job for him.

  31. Greg Smisek says:

    When the Missal of 1962 is followed, the laws and customs appropriate to that rite must be observed:

    d). The role of the deacon is limited to those functions specifically assigned to the deacon in the rubrics.

    Bishop Campbell doesn’t mention the other rites of the extraordinary form here, but a major innovation of the Second Vatican Council and following legislation was to allow the deacon to preside at or celebrate liturgical rites without a priest present.

    It is certainly prudent for bishops to advise priests to stick to the traditional practices when using the extraordinary form. But I look forward to PCED addressing in due time how the liturgical changes codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and other universal legislation not found in the liturgical books themselves apply to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, such as permission for female altar servers (can. 230 and its authentic interpretation) and the deacon as ordinary minister of Holy Communion (can. 910), Benediction (can. 943), and Baptism (can. 861), and as authorized to preach the homily (can. 767), assist at and bless marriages (can. 1108), administer sacramentals and impart blessings (cann. 1168-1169), and officiate at funeral and burial services (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, V, 22, 5).

    Of course the integrity of each form of the Roman Rite must be respected, but the Supreme Pontiff’s very first norm states that they are duo usus unici ritus romani (two uses of the one same Roman Rite).

  32. RBrown says:

    Remember how a lot of people speculated that Cardinal Castrillon was being punished for something (perhaps for setting up the IBP in France) when he was removed from his post at the Congregation for the Clergy? Now it’s patently clear that the PCED is going to be more than a full-time job for him.
    Comment by Legisperitus

    Never heard that one before. C-H left the Congregation for the Clergy when he was 77, two years after the usual retirement age.

  33. RBrown says:

    Rather, he realizes that he isn’t going to St. Paul and that he’s going to die a Buckeye.
    Comment by Nina

    I know nothing about Bishop Campbell, but it’s not likely that he ever would have returned to St Paul. Rome tends to name ordinaries who were not incardinated in the same diocese unless they had fairly extensive Roman experience, e.g., Abp Burke.

  34. dcs says:

    Never heard that one before. C-H left the Congregation for the Clergy when he was 77, two years after the usual retirement age.

    A commenter on Rorate Caeli suggested that Card. Castrillon was being punished for setting up the IBP. That’s all. I don’t know if anyone else engaged in similar speculation.

  35. Tito says:

    Fr. Z,

    I enjoy reading your blog and have nothing but praise for your ‘frank talk’ and ‘call them as you see them’ blogging. To be fair, you are dead-on in your analysis and comments of the many ‘diocesan’ and bishop’s responses to the Summorum Pontificum. What may seem ‘uncharitable’ to others is unfortunately correct readings of the statements by said ‘dioceses’ and bishops.

    You are not falling into the politically correct feigning of respect when none is expected nor required. Unlike many said bishops, you are the most Christian in being honest and charitable. Charitable in refusing to fall into the sin of omission.

    God bless.


  36. Serafino says:

    In my diocese, the Mass of Holy Chrism is celebrated on Monday of Holy Week. Last year, I celebrated the daily Mass, followed by two funeral Masses. Before the Chrism Mass, I told the bishop that I had already celebrated three Masses and would not be able to concelebrate the Chrism Mass.

    He looked at me as if I had “three heads” and said, “Father, this is the Chrism Mass, I insist that you concelebrate this Mass with the rest of the priests of the diocese.” So much for the rule of trination!

    It is now obvious, that those bishops who are in line with the Holy Father will allow his Motu Proprio to become part of the life of the local Church. Bishops who don’t want it, will continue to “pull at straws” and find “canonical” and non canonical ways to restrict the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite of Holy Mass.

    With no disrespect meant, all these augments about public Masses, private Masses, Masses with the people, Masses without the people, published Masses, announced Masses, bination, trination, endless conditions and restrictions is nothing more than Pharisaical augmentation proposed by those who stand in opposition to the Motu Proprio of the Holy Father, and will do anything and everything to try and stop it.

    Let me tell you what I do. Tuesday is my “day off.” I have always celebrated a private Mass on Tuesdays. I have now invited members of my parish to attend this Mass which I celebrate in the extraordinary form. On Saturday mornings there is no public Mass scheduled. However, I have a small group of parishioners for whom I celebrate a private Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I now celebrate this Mass in the extraordinary form. Yes, I invite others who wish to attend to do so.

    I follow this schedule regardless of funerals, weddings or other “public Masses for pastoral reasons.” If I am going to hell for celebrating more than one Mass, then so be it! I am tired of all the nonsense! We are here to save souls.

    On Sunday, there is a group of 15 people who have requested the extraordinary form of Mass. This is a public Mass and is now part of the weekly scheduled Masses. My bishop who is a true liberal has not interfered.

    While not a “Latin scholar” or a “liturgist” I have studied Latin and I speak Italian, Spanish and English, and know how to follow the rubrics of the Mass. This is not “rocket science” here. Most priests are fairly well educated, and know how to say Mass.

  37. Adapting the EF of the Mass to new innovations would be letting
    the nose of the camel under the tent, and ultimately self-defeating.

    The whole point of the EF is to preserve the Traditional form…why even
    contemplate mutating this liturgy as well?

  38. Martha says:

    Father Serafino,

    You have a true priestly heart in your concern for the salvation of souls; not only that, but also the common sense of a Teresa of Avila;
    AND manly courage to exercise your duties under a liberal bishop. God bless you!

  39. Maureen says:

    So you got dispensed to quaternate. :)

    Re: server at private Mass

    Is a server really required at a private Mass? How did priests in prison in Communist countries say Masses?

  40. Ron says:

    Hold on there! Do you need a hug? I happen to be a Novis Ordo loving man with many friends who feel disenfranchised by sloppy modern abuses at Mass. These people long for the 1962 missal not so much because they think the new missal is bunk, but because guitar strumming and hand holding at mass drives them bonkers! It drives me bonkers, too!

    The mass of 1962 is a safe haven where we don’t have to hold hands, we don’t have to greet others around us. We just want time with Jesus, not time with scooby-doo signing and hand clapping. Some people just can’t tolerate that stuff. I can appreciate that folk who grew up in the 60s and 70s think it’s “groovy”, but younger folks like me want to barf. Have you noticed that so many young catholics have stopped attending Mass? BECAUSE IT’S DORKY! We want authentic! We want Chant and Polyphony as are called for by the Second Vatican Council. WE WANT JESUS!!! If that means the Missal of 1962, then let’s do it!

    Big hug for you!

    Ron, Cedar Rapids, IA

  41. Ron says:

    I knew this Bishop personally when he lived in St. Paul, MN. He got along with liberals and conservatives. He loved them all, and they all loved him. He was rector of the seminary there when I had several friends there and was almost there myself. The most liberal of professors greatly loved him for his kindness. Please try to see the deeper wisdom in this. Mass is not “Time for Taborines”.

    I get red faced at guitar or rock-n-roll masses. Is that fair? I ask Jesus, “Lord, please help me die to self. Please help me be with you. If it is my own personal preference causing me to lose my peace, let it die, Lord, in favor for you.” Do you have this same problem when you go to a solemn mass? I’m not talking 1962 missal. Have you ever been to a Novis Ordo mass that was prayed solemnly, quietly? Maybe the priest chanted the consecration in english? Maybe they didn’t sing “On Eagle’s Wings”? If there were more masses like that, then people wouldn’t be lining up for the 1962 missal.

    And you have to admit something: the HOLY SPIRIT is in control. Benedict XVI is Pope. Holy Spirity working. And reread the Vatican II document on liturgy: SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM

    It says:
    1. Latin is to be preserved in the liturgy
    2. Gregorian Chant is to remain the standard, followed by sacred polyphony
    3. Treasury of Sacred Music is to be fostered (it’s not referring to “Glory and Praise”)

    Sure it says stuff about active participation, but you can’t take one and ignore the other. BOTH must be upheld, and that isn’t happening!

    I LOVE YOU! I really wish I could give you a big hug. Solemn mass loves aren’t a bunch of aliens!
    God bless you!

    Ronny, CR, IA

  42. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Serafino:

    Father, you mention that you now celebrate a public Sunday Mass according to the 1962 Mass. Could you send that information to me at pkperkins@telus.net. I could then send it on to two sites that list all these Masses. There is, naturally, a great deal of confusion right now as sites try to discover all the new 1962 Masses to list them, so that travellers and others can find them.

    In regard to the ‘Pharasaical’ argumentation, yes, many bishops are using every trick in the book to stop the 1962 Mass. We must respond by pointing out firmly and clearly that we have the law on our side. I agree with you that they can step on priests anyway (every diocese has its Siberia), but we need to do what we can. It is simply not right that we stand silent while they tear S.P. to pieces. The Holy Father approved it to correct a wrong in the law. Consider that, by the Pope’s own admission, the old Mass was never abrogated. So how come it was prevented?

    I recally a comment of Cardinal Stickler in 1986, when he ‘let the cat out of the bag’ over the Cardinalatial Commission. He said that several priests had insisted on their right to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. Each had been stopped by legal action of their bishops under the Canon Law. And each who had appealed to Rome *WON* on appeal. Somehow, however, Rome managed to keep these victories completely unknown. Interesting.


  43. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:


    The problem is that Fr. Serafino’s Bishop did not have the authority to dispense to quaternate. No bishop can override the Code of Canons. Only the lawgiver who promulgated it can do that.

    Fr. Serafino could have refused to ‘quaternate’, I suppose. On the other hand, a priest does not sin by obeying his Bishop in such matters. Father made the legal situation known to the Bishop. The Bishop sinned if and only if he fully realised that he was breaking the law.

    Some would counsel that we should not be so legalistic but this is false. Even bishops are bound to follow the law. Of course, the law takes into account exceptions for emergencies but I can’t see how this desperate need to force all priests to concelebrate is some sort of emergency the avoidance of which will save souls from hellfire.

    It is this silly liberal idea that the one unpardonable sin is for a priest not to concelebrate during in Holy Week. Odd, since Canon 902 allows priests to refuse to concelebrate at any time, even if they are free to offer another Mass. Lost now is this sense that the Mass is so precious that it ideally should not be celebrated more than once per day.


  44. RBrown says:

    Have ANY of you heard from Bishop Robert Vasa? He was on Catholic Answers Lies on 7/18/07 right after the Moto Proprio was released and he had a smart come back for one of these young people who claims he’s nourished by the Old Liturgy. Yeah, we keep hearing that these kids are all over the place, right!

    He explained it better than any one up to that date, although he did say that this was merely to bring the SSPX back into the fold. Personally, I think he gave his holiness the benefit of the doubt.

    Both the text of the Motu Proprio and the accompanying letter are clear in saying that the reasons are not limited to the SSPX.

    BTW, Bp Vasa said he didn’t think the MP would expand the use of the 1962 Missal. The number of priests wanting to learn to say mass using that missal proves otherwise.

    And before you scream “liberal protestant” or “hyterical-crypto scriptural analysis” remember that Bishop Vasa believes in Noah’s Ark!!

    Fundamentalists believe in Noah’s Ark, and they don’t want the liturgy in Latin–nor do they believe in the Eucharist.

    BTW, no need for me to scream–simply because I’m right . . . and you’re wrong.

  45. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In support of RBrown:

    Frankly, I can’t see how “Summorum Pontificum” is simply a response to the S.S.P.X. While it does fulfil a pre-condition for talks with the Society, the document itself has no effect on the Society, obviously. The apostolic letter can’t grant a right to a body that exercises that right in spite of it.

    As for Bishop Vasa, Sr. Steering Wheel’s comments are irrelevant. The important comment of that Bishop was that only those who grew up with the old Mass could possibly adhere to it. It’s a point of view. But it has no force in law. Canon 36: in granting privileges, words must interpreted broadly in favour of the grantees. Frankly, one could develop an attachment to the old Mass simply by reading the Missal at home or watching it on television, just as one can (and millions have) gained a revulsion for the New Mass without even being present for it.

    Faithful are entitled to the favour of the law. If someone says that she is attached to the old Mass, the law assumes that she is so attached until demonstrated otherwise.


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