Milan, Italy: older Roman Rite trumped by Ambrosian

Il Giornale has an interseting article.  Apparently in Milan, Italy, the Ambrosian Rite trumps use of the older form of the Roman Rite.

My emphases and comments.

The Motu Proprio on the Traditional Mass? In Milan they say no

On 14 September the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI that derestricts the old preconciliar Missal will come into force, but in Milan, and in all areas where the Ambrosian Rite is used, it will not be applied. Monsignor Luigi Manganini, Archpriest of the Cathedral and Vicepresident of the Congregation for the Ambrosian Rite communicated this in the last few days to the Deans of the diocese.   This decision is in itself unimpeachable, given that the papal document only talks of the "Roman Rite". Certainly, however, in the same Motu Proprio we can find an suggestion of openness and the Pontiff extending his hand to traditionalists, which could have justified a wider interpretation even in the Ambrosian region.

"In those territories of the Diocese of Milan which follow the Roman Rite" [for example in Monza], Msgr. Manganini clarified for Il Giornale, "the Motu Proprio will be applied, even if we have never had any complaints or special requests of traditionalists. However, concerning parishes of the Ambrosian Rite, which is an autonomous with its own head in the person of the Archbishop of Milan, since in these years we have not encountered any particular requests, we do not deem it necessary that they come under the provisions of the Motu Proprio. [So… this fellow gets to decide where a PAPAL document for the Universal Church will be applied.  I see.] In Milan, since 1988, there is a church at the Gentilino where every Sunday the old liturgy is celebrated. That will continue." "In the Pope’s document", Manganini concludes, "there is mention of the necessity that there be a stable group which truly follows the spirituality [No, that is not what the Motu Proprio says.] that is connected with the old rite. The faithful at the Gentilino really do not appear to me to be any such group."  [Again, this guy doesn’t get to decide these things.  Pastors of parishes can, but not him.]

Nicola De Grandi, one of the most faithful attendees of the Sunday Mass at the Gentilino, does not agree: "Monsignor Manganini does not plan to implement the conditions established by the Motu Proprio because, he claims, there is so far no stable group. So he wants to make sure that no stable group forms so as to avoid applying the conditions of the Motu Proprio"   [That’s what it looks like to me, too.]  

Degrandi also notes that the "stable group" of faithful that is required in the Motu Proprio "concerns the regular Masses scheduled in the Parishes".

"However, the Papal text shows clearly that the priests are also free to celebrate outside these schedules -even if faithful are present- without asking for any permission"

As some will remember, a month ago it was Carlo Maria Card. Martini, Archbishop Emeritus of Milan, who distanced himself in a way from the papal decision in the pages of Sole 24 Ore, making it clear that he would not celebrate in the old style and that "the bishop cannot multiply celebrations".

When St. Pope Pius V issued the editio princeps of the Missale Romanum he said in his document of promulgation Quo primum that even in those regions where an old local rite could be retained (such as remains the case even today in Milan), no priest could be denied the use of the Missale Romanum if he wished to use it. 

Thus, this fellow’s view strikes me as being far more rigid, harsher, than St. Pius V ever was. 

I wonder if today it is the case that priests of Milan can chose if they wish to use the Missale Romanum or if they are constrained to use only the Missale Ambrosianum.  I bet they are free to use the Roman Rite if they want.  If that is the case, since there are two uses of one Roman Right, and priests of the Latin Church (which includes Milan) can use either use, therefore, priests in the Ambrosian region ought to be able to choose to make use of either the older or newer Roman Missal.

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  1. Thomas Cattoi says:

    Thank for posting, Fr. Zuhlsdorf. Priests in Milan can also use the Roman rite if they want
    (they all learn both in any case)

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    As I understand it, the Ambrosian Mass still offered (at least to some small extent) in Milan is the (much simplified) “new order” version of the historic Ambrosian rite — bearing essentially the same relation to the traditional Ambrosian Mass as the Novus Ordo to the traditional Roman rite.

    If so, it seems to me the main question side-stepped in the article is whether the traditional Ambrosian rite is authorized by SP under the same conditions as the traditional Roman rite.

  3. What about the older form of the Missale Ambrosianum? The reforms of the Ambrosian were very much in the same spirit of the Pauline reforms of the Roman Rite. The Archdiocese of Milan has good reason to be proud of their traditional Rite, so I see no reason why in those areas that use this Rite, wider use cannot be granted for it’s older form.

  4. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Fr. Z, can you or someone else describe the qualities of a coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit? I’ve heard it said over and over again that this is not necessarily a group that has existed in the past, nor that is stable in its membership. But what are the characteristics? Can it be a group of 10 people who wants one TLM and then disbands, or does it imply a group that has “staying power”?

  5. Fr. Stephen says:

    Yes, Fr. Z, like Jeff Pinyan, I would very much like to hear a fuller discussion about the nature of the “coetus fidelium”. Does it have to be some kind of formal group, or just some people who would like to have TLM celebrated in the parish? Do we have to show someone that this or that bunch has been asking for it for a certain amount of time? Is it all right, now that it could be done, that a group of people might say to the pastor “Now that we hear it’s possible, we would like to have TLM 1962”? No one is knocking down my door about it, but since the motu proprio has been issued several people have said they are interested and hope I will have it here. Can they be the required “coetus fidelium”? I consider myself, by the way, to be part of the “coetus” and I am ready to celebrate TLM 1962 as soon, after September 14th, as my 4 very enthused adult men servers-to-be are trained and vetted.

  6. Peter Moscatelli says:

    Priests belonging to the Archdiocese of Milan (which covers most of the Lombardy region) may, I believe, not celebrate in the Roman rite. When parishes here are entrusted to orders belonging to the Roman rite, such as the franciscans, it is the Ambrosian rite that must be used. It could be be argued that the motu proprio, as general law, introduces the right to use the traditional roman liturgy in Ambrosian territory as well – leaving the traditional Ambrosian rite “forbidden”

  7. Federico says:

    Fr. Stephen and Jeff,

    coeti do not need to be organized in any way or in any formal manner (that would be a consociationes). Continenter is legitimately ambiguous vis-a-vis the past, but is clear that it does not need future existence. Certainly a group (but not necessarily the same members) in existence since 1972 or parish erection (whichever came later) would certainly suffice.

    Check out this analysys or this bit of Q/A on the motu proprio for a more detailed discussion of this question.


  8. EJ says:

    I think it was an oversight of Summorum Pontificum not to free also the various Western rites still in existence. I attended Mass in the Cathedral in Milan following the new order of the Missale Ambrosianum in Italian- and the comment above is very true that it is far-removed from its classical form – is there any freedom at all for a priest of this archdiocese to celebrate according to the classical form? What a poverty it would be if this ancient missal is not given the same freedom as the 1962 roman missal.

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