Norms for older Mass issued by Archbp. of Cincinnati: committee to examine priests

The Archbishop of Cincinnati, Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, has issued his statement and his norms regarding the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Here is the cover letter.

My emphases and comments.

September 5, 2007
Dear Father,
            I am certain that you have heard or read about the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, recently promulgated by the Holy Father, allowing for the more general celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal.   Previously, permission was required by the diocesan bishop for the celebration of the preconciliar liturgy.  Now, priests, after meeting certain requirements and certain conditions, [Here is the open salvo.] may celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal without the permission of the local ordinary.  
            As the chief liturgist [A distinct element of The Party Line.] of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, it is my responsibility to ensure that fidelity to the liturgical rites [Which also include making sure there are no abuses of rubics in the Novus Ordo, there are no improper uses of Form III for penance, etc.] of the Church is maintained.  Therefore, I am attaching norms for the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal.  It is imperative that priests understand that this form of celebration is the extraordinary form and should not be construed as an option equal [I think this is a misinterpretation.  There are two uses of the Roman Rite.  I don’t think "extraordinary" implies "inequality".] to the  ordinary form of Mass according to the Roman Missal in use since 1970 (current Missal).   After meeting the conditions outlined in the attached document, [We must look at these, below.] priests may privately celebrate the extraordinary form, and under certain pastoral situations, publicly celebrate it; however, the ordinary form of the Mass is the primary and normal way of celebrating Mass. 
            It is my expectation that the attached norms be diligently followed.  The Worship Office will assist priests in their understanding of the norms and provide further information as needed.  While the effective date for the Motu Proprio is Sept. 14, 2007, the conditions set by the Holy Father and by me, as Archbishop, are to be met prior to any celebration of the extraordinary form of Mass.   If you are already receiving requests for the preconciliar liturgy, know that there are two parishes, Sacred Heart, Cincinnati and Our Lady of the Rosary, Dayton, that already celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal.  
            May God continue to bless you abundantly in your ministry.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk,
Archbishop of Cincinnati

I find the tone of this statement to be very lofty indeed, even a little menancing. 

Let’s see the norms.

My emphases (some also in the original for headings) and comments.

Norms for the implementation of the
Apostolic Letter in the form of motu proprio –
Summorum Pontificum

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

    August, 2007

Introduction:   The Holy Father, in reaching out to Catholics who have “an attachment to the preconciliar liturgical forms” (BCL Newsletter, May/June 2007), expanded the use of these liturgical forms through his recent Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.   Summorum Pontificum holds the weight of law and takes effect on September 14, 2007.  The most significant change outlined in this apostolic letter is that permission by the diocesan bishop [I find it interesting that this is the "most significant change".] is no longer needed in order for priests to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal (preconciliar liturgy).  However, the Holy Father laid down several conditions in his Motu Proprio which must be met in order for the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal to occur.  Additionally, as chief liturgist [The Party Line] of the diocese, it is the local ordinary’s responsibility to ensure that liturgical norms [whose?] are followed whether Mass is celebrated according to the ordinary form (current Roman Missal) or the extraordinary form (1962 Roman Missal).  If a priest desires to celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati he must meet the following conditions:


1)         A priest may celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass (according to the 1962 Roman Missal) privately if:
a)         He demonstrates a sufficient knowledge and facility of the Latin language.  (Summorum Pontificum, [SP], Art. 5.4)  [Much will depend on what "sufficient" means.  The outstanding canonist His Eminence Edward Card. Egan explained that the word idoenus indicates an ability to pronounce the words properly.  It does not mean expertise.  Note carefully that what His Excellency wrote here is NOT what Art. 5.4 really says.  5.4 actually says: "Sacerdotes Missali B. Ioannis XXIII utentes, idonei esse debent ac iure non impediti. … Priests using the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, ought to be capable and not impeded by law."  No one disputes that it is best that a priest know Latin well, but this article should not be forced to say something it does not say.]

b)         He demonstrates a sufficient ability to observe the rubrics of the 1962 Roman Missal.  (SP, Art. 5.4) [See above.]
c)         He demonstrates such abilities before a committee established by the Archbishop. [Nobody expected the Cincinnati Inquisition!  Let the intimidation begin!]

NB:     While Summorum Pontificum allows the priest to celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass without the permission of the Ordinary, the Ordinary has the responsibility to see that all liturgy is celebrated in the proper manner and worthily;  this is why showing competency is required.  [Will there be such a committee to test priests who use the Novus Ordo?  If not, then this might constitute an unreasonable double-standard.]

NB:     Frs. Giles Pater, [who was at St. John Fischer in Newtown, OH, which does not have the older Mass] David Robisch,  [who at least was at St. Mary’s in Hyde Park, OH, which does not seem to have the older form of Mass on the schedule.] and Timothy Kallaher [who has an MA in Latin from Xavier Univ.] have agreed to serve on the committee to certify that a priest has demonstrated the ability to celebrate in the extraordinary form.  Priests interested in the extraordinary form should contact a member of the committee with any questions.  [NB: there are two parishes in this Archdiocese where the older Mass is celebrated.  It does not seem, from what I can dig up, that these three priests have anything to do with those celebrations or parishes.  I may be entirely wrong about this, of course.]       

NB:     A private Mass is one that is not publicized.  The faithful may attend this Mass if they, “of their own free will,” ask to do so.  (SP, Art. 4) Additionally, it is expected that at least one person is present as a server. The extraordinary form may be celebrated privately at anytime except during the Sacred Triduum.  (SP, Art. 2)

2)         A priest may celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass (according to the 1962 Roman Missal) publicly if:
a) “In parishes, where there is a stable group [here is the point of attack] of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition” the members of this group request for him to do so. (SP, Art. 5.1)

NB:     A “stable group of faithful” means a significant number [No, it does not.  The word in the Latin is coetus.  There is NO implication in coetus that the number must be "significant", that is, "large".  A coetus can be very small.  The Motu Proprio does not require a minimum number.  To impose one would be outside the provisions of the Holy Father.] of the faithful who have been celebrating this form regularly, or who have been desirous of this form over the years, [Does this also improperly impose a length of time the coetus has been around?  It sure sounds like it.] and who of their own free will requested the extraordinary form of Mass.   Such a Mass may be publicized only if a “stable group” has requested that the extraordinary form be celebrated.  A priest, on his own, may not simply decide to publicly celebrate the extraordinary formwithout such a “stable group.”  [Remember that the priest himself can be part of the coetus and, truly, a coetus can be quite small.]

b)         He meets the qualifications laid out above (1a, 1b, 1c).

NB:     If a priest is unable to meet the request of the group because he does not meet the conditions required to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass, he should recommend them to a parish where it is already being celebrated.  (cf. SP, Art. 5.1) [This is NOT what Art. 5.1 says.  Go look.]  Currently, there are two parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass:  Sacred Heart, Camp Washington, and Our Lady of the Rosary, Dayton.

NB:     In order to have an updated list of parishes where the extraordinary form of the Mass is being celebrated, pastors are asked to inform the Worship Office if they provide regular extraordinary form celebrations.  [That is entirely reasonable.]

NB:     The names of the priests who have been certified by the committee mentioned above will be made public so that these priests will be available to celebrate in this extraordinary form if local priests are not available.  [Hmmm[]… und if your name iz not on zee list, und you are caught saying zat Mass?? ] 3) The extraordinary form of Mass may be celebrated on Sundays only if the following conditions are met:

a)         A stable group of faithful have made such a request.

b)         Only one such Mass is celebrated.   It is not the intention of Summorum Pontificum to arbitrarily [?] take one of the current Sunday Masses and substitute Mass in the extraordinary form merely for the sake of variety.  [What a strange thing to say.]                       

c)         The priest celebrant meets all of the qualifications laid out above (1a, 1b, 1c).

4)         If the extraordinary form of Mass is celebrated, the liturgy is celebrated according to the calendar and Lectionary of the 1962 Roman Missal. However, “in Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII (1962 Roman Missal), the readings may be given in the vernacular using approved texts.”  (SP, Art. 6)

5)         The celebration of the sacraments in the extraordinary form may take place if:

a)         The celebrant has demonstrated the ability to do so.  He must meet the same qualifications as laid out in 1a, 1b, 1c.

b)         The faithful request such sacramental celebrations (i.e. Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick) to be celebrated in the extraordinary form of the sacraments. (SP, Art. 5.3)

c)         The pastor has granted permission after attentively examining the various ramifications [?] of such celebrations.  (SP, Art. 9.1)
For further study and information, a [flawed] translation of the text of the Motu Proprio, along with the accompanying letter of the Holy Father can be found at the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) website:  Additionally, the May/June 2007 BCL Newsletter was dedicated to providing information regarding the interpretation and implementation of the Motu Proprio.  This newsletter can also be found on the same website.

Time and more information will allow us to see if these norms simply step on the toes of the provisions in Summorum Pontificum or if they actually grind a heal into the whole foot.

Much will depend on the men chosen as Archdiocesan Inquisitors who will sit on judgment of priests who show any interest in the older Mass.  If this isn’t an tactic of sheer intimidation, and I really hope it is not intended that way, will those priests be in a position by background or inclination to render a reasonable judgment?

I don’t want to prejudge the men selected for the committee.  I am sure they are sound and dedicated priests with great love of the older form of liturgy and who will be friendly toward all those who need to be examined.  This committee has no track record yet.

The question remains of the double-standard: Will all priests be subjected to inquisitions to see if they are following the rubrics or are sufficiently capable with the English language?  How about foreign priests working in the area?  When certified will they be given an Ausweis?

Also, if there is such strict liturgical oversight now, are there now or will there persist, say, improper celebrations of the sacrament of penance with Form III (so-called "general absolution")?  

I am just musing about the wider implications.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. dcs says:

    Rev. Fr. Z.,

    Does the motu proprio actually say or imply that a pastor cannot decide to celebrate the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite” publicly on his own initiative? My own reading of the text (in English, of course) leads me to conclude that it does not; that is, a pastor can celebrate the old Mass publicly on his own initiative.

  2. Andrew says:

    If you are already receiving requests for the preconciliar liturgy …

    All liturgy is pre-conciliar. Somebody aught to put the word out: “Liturgy existed before Vatican II.”

  3. ThirdOrder says:

    As a future resident of this diocese, I’ve been awaiting Pilarczyk’s statement. But this is disappointing to say the least.

  4. Andrew says:

    There is only one liturgy. There are various forms (perhaps one might be called the pre-conciliar form), but there is only one liturgy of the Roman rite. Perhaps re-reading Summorum Pontificum might be in order?

  5. Serapion says:

    FYI, the two currently available Latin Masses in Dayton and Cincinnati are offered by an FSSP priest from St. Cecilia church in Brookville, Indiana. This has been the case for the past year; prior to this arrangement, they were usually offered by diocesan priests or, as I understand, occasionally by priests visiting from the Indianapolis or Covington dioceses.

  6. Tom S. says:

    Will these type of statements ever be addressed by Rome? And if they are, will it matter? It seems to me that this sort of statement will put the fear into the priests of this diocese. Then even if the bishop were to get an unpleasant call from Rome, and subsequently a change in policy, the priests would still be afraid to even ask about the extraordinary rite. Am I wrong in this?

  7. Matt says:


    I love your site and come here daily. But might I suggest we not compare flawed diocesan norms with pictures of the inquisition? I know these “norms” get us all riled up but I think we’d catch more bees with honey.

    Otherwise your commentary is great.

  8. Brian Day says:

    the Cincinnati Inquisition!

    Nobody expects the Cincinnati Inquisition!

    Queue the Monte Python skit!

  9. My advice to any Cincinnati priest seeking to celebrate the extraordinary form? Politely decline any request from His Excellency’s triumvirate for certification, thank them for their newfound interest in ritual fidelity, copy the Ecclesia Dei Commission on all correspondence, and celebrate Mass per the standards set forth in Summorum Pontificum. Given the glacial pace at which things operate around here, it’s unlikely you’ll get any interference before 2009.

  10. Brian Day says:

    Speaking of the Spanish Inquisition

  11. I’ve already met priests in the Cincinnati Archdiocese who could pass any reasonable test that is offered. And remember, they’d have to pass muster on this if it were offered in the seminary anyway.

    That being said, I would second Mr Leonardi’s recommendation, with the provision that one proceed with it as a private Mass, at least for now. The Archbishop has been picking his battles more carefully of late, in light of an impending retirement, and he can’t win this one. That would leave his worship office, which tends to take on a life of its own.

    This will probably flourish better in the northern part of the diocese beyond Dayton. “Out of sight…”

  12. Henry Edwards says:

    … it’s unlikely you’ll get any interference before 2009.

    Archbishop Pilarczyk is 73 now, so I think I can figure out the arithmetic here. In 1974 at the age of 40 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati under and consecrated by Ab. Joseph Bernardin, whom he succeeded there.

    I wonder if anyone else detects a certain tone of thumb-in-the-dike desperation in some of these diocesan statements whose authors of a certain episcopal cohort apparently fear that only extraordinarily repressive means will suffice to discourage generous offering of the extraordinary form by a younger and more vibrant generation of priests looking to the future rather than the past.

  13. Andy K. says:

    Rich Leonardi has my thoughts on this situation. The northern tier, though, is in desparate need of this Mass there. Driving 60 miles to Dayton to me is outrageous.

  14. Fr. J says:

    I have studied canon law (JCL). The bishop does not have the right to tell a priest he can’t use the extraordinary form of Mass until he passes a “test.” That isn’t what the law says. Bishops who try this will get their hands swatted in due time as soon as someone makes recourse. This is exactly the problem that the Pope meant to address in the document. My legal opinion is that a priest need only follow the MP and is not obliged to follow a bishops contrary directives. I encourage a brave priest out there to appeal to Rome.

  15. DoB says:

    The rattling of a plastic sword always amuses. Please be aware, the Pope called out for a new St. Francis of our time. Saint Francis petitioned the Pope directly to use the St Peter’s Rite. He was granted this request. The Pope is banking on faithful priests to do the right thing.

  16. PMcGrath says:

    This comment applies not only here, but for all the other anti-Latinist bishops mentioned in this blog (and others):

    Dale Price pegged this one exactly:

    Let me apply this handy firehose full of cold water: Never, ever underestimate the creative power of unhappy bureaucrats. Especially those trained in the Catholic tradition.

  17. Mary Conces says:

    Dear Father Z,
    I read you (with joy and gratitude) in the Wanderer, but don’t get to this site as often as I might like. So,please forgive me if I’m repeating what someone else has noticed.
    I’m suprised to see that the liturgical establishment thinks that “extraordinary” means something like “a most unusual, or exceptional, thing”. Judging by the ubiquity of “extraordinary” ministers, I thought it now meant something like “common” or “usual”.

  18. Cacciaguida says:

    Pilarczyk? Is he still alive?

    Doesn’t the MP have some provision for asking Rome to send some muscle around in the event of obstructionist bishops?

  19. RBrown says:

    Once again, it’s statistics time!

    In Cincinnati:

    In 1970 there were 530,000 Catholics, and 448 diocesan priests.

    JBernardin was Abp there from 1972-1982, then DPilarczyk, his hand-picked successor took over.

    In 2006, after 34 years of the pastoral genius of Bernardin and Pilarczyk, there were 498,000 Catholics and 291 diocesan priests.

  20. RBrown says:

    Let me apply this handy firehose full of cold water: Never, ever underestimate the creative power of unhappy bureaucrats. Especially those trained in the Catholic tradition.
    Comment by PMcGrath

    Allow me to fix it for you:

    Especially, those trained to ignore Catholic tradition.

  21. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    The acrid odor of Jadot lingers still.

  22. RBrown says:

    I agree with the plastic sword comment. Abp Pilarczyk knows it is over, and he is attempting some bureaucratic gesture to make it seem as if he has control over the situation.

    BTW, if memory serves Abp Pilarczyk has an MA in Classics. If Abp Pio Laghi hadn’t ended the Bernardin influence over the nomination of new bishops, DPilarczyk would have certainly been a Cardinal. Also Abp Kelly of Louisville, whom Bernardin was pushing for New York.

    Basta. I’m going to go watch Roger Federer, the Dom Gueranger of tennis.

  23. Perhaps, Father Z, it would be a good time to describe for the benefit of your numerous readers, clerical and lay, what is the protocol for lodging a complaint with Ecclesia Dei? It is, after all, quite apparent, in all charity, that implementation of His Holiness’ motu proprio Summorum Pontificum is being obstructed by certain bishops. It is the duty of affected persons to report such obstruction, for the betterment of all, is it not?

    Cincinnatus should perhaps again retire to his farm early….

  24. Jbrown says:

    Father Z, I would concur with all of the above comments. It is INCREDIBLY frustrating to know that the Holy Father promulgated the motu proprio to grant more freedom to priests to both offer the 1962 Mass on their own accord and to respond to “continuously existing” groups that request a pastor for traditional Sacraments. Cardinal Castrillon made it crystal clear that the thousands of letters to Ecclesia Dei, many of which came from Cincinnati I can assure you (as a resident thereof), begging for wider access with no episcopal interference is one of the main reasons for SP. I think we need to know exactly how to appeal to Ecclesia Dei in the most respectful, but effective manner possible.

  25. Jim R. says:

    Father Z.,

    I have been assisting at the indult Traditional Latin Masses (TLM) here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati occasionally for approximately 17 years. First, I attended the then only approved site, St Monica’s in Cincinnati in the late 1980’s. When the indult was expanded to Dayton area where I live, I have attended the TLM at when it was offered at Holy Family and now at its current location at Our Lady of the Rosary.

    The indult Masses in Dayton have always been well done by the many priests that I have heard celebrate it. The singing by the Dayton schola at the TLM is very uplifting. The 1962 Missal has always been followed correctly and there has been no hybridization of the now extraordinary form and the ordinary form. Both churches that have been used in Dayton are very beautiful. Both were never wreckovated and have retained the traditional altar, rederos, and communion rails. Both have Novus Ordo table altars that are portable and can be moved out of the way for the TLM. However, both locations are in run down areas of the inner city, where I’m sure makes most suburbanites and rural people uncomfortable.

    A previous poster is correct that an FSSP priest from Indiana currently comes in to celebrate the TLM in Dayton and Cincinnati. The recent letter by the Archbishop here really makes me sad. This is because the recourse he offers is to send anybody who asks for the extraordinary form to the current indult Masses. Father Z, these are not personal parishes for the TLM. As I’m sure you would agree, the extraordinary form needs to become a part of ordinary parish life, the same local neighborhood parish that people are attached to and see their friends and family and have activities at each weekend. I think that the bishops are capitalizing on the fact that most Catholics simply are not liturgical experts who are willing to travel great distances to a strange church just to get a reverent Mass. A few die hards are but most aren’t.

    Here in the Dayton area, except for a few of the older parishes downtown, the map is a liturgical wasteland. One of the parishes in downtown Dayton has always had very conservative Novus Ordo Masses, very much in line with Catholic tradition. One of their Masses each weekend has the Ordinary sung in Latin. But the rest of the Dayton area, especially the suburban areas are littered with parishes and priests that deviate extensively from the Roman Missal, don’t follow the GIRM, leave major parts of the Mass out, sing only the trite Haugen/Haas ditties. I could go on and on. And the Archbishop worries about the proper celebration of the extraordinary form??????

    This is an Archdiocese that has had more than its share of priests that had to be removed from ministry for all kinds of improper deviant conduct. (This is all public record.) Until recently, these priests were shuffled around in the typical fashion. This is an Archdiocese that hired a convicted criminal to do fingerprinting and background checks of innocent volunteers. Supposedly, a diocesan employee had become a father figure to this criminal. And the Archbishop worries about the proper celebration of the extraordinary form???????

    I became suspicious of the Archbishop’s intentions back in the 1990’s when the Dayton indult was petitioning to be expanded from biweekly to weekly. I was handed a flyer from the Latin Mass Community asking us to send letters to Archbishop Pilarczyk. I sent a very polite and respectful letter. I received a hand signed reply from the Archbishop stating that it was “up to the pastor”. Well, that was a lie then because that decision was certainly not up to the pastor. And apparently according to the latest letter, it’s a lie now, because it’s not up to the pastor even with the backing of the Holy Father’s Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

  26. Mildy_Annoyed says:

    After having spent some time in Cincinnati and having explored roughly a dozen different churches in the archdiocese over a couple of months, I think His Excellency’s got a number of bigger problems than a priest who wants to celebrate the extraordinary form. I mean no disrespect to the good and faithful priests of the archdiocese (and I’m confident they are many) but I had trouble finding a mass that didn’t tinker with the words of institution in any way, shape, or form. Most of the changes weren’t substantial enough for me to question the validity, but it certainly gave me pause.

  27. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Round and round the mulberry bush we go. This chief liturgist is trying to impose the same illegal restrictions. Can’t the man read? The requirement that the priest must be capable (not qualified) [idoneus] ONLY ATTACHES TO THE PUBLIC MASSES MENTIONED IN ARTICLE FIVE. That is why it is a SECTION of Article 5! If it applied to all Masses, it would have to be a separate article, or else it would have to be repeated in in Article 2, on Masses sine populo. In fact, Article 2 affims that no private celebrants, even with invited guests present (Article 4) needs any permission either from the Holy See or the local bishop. These celebrants need not even inform their bishops of their Masses sine populo. The liturgy hacks in the chancery office have no more authority to stop them than does Donald Duck.

    It is simply beyond the power of the local bishops to impose standards to be applied to Article 2. Article 1 affirms a general right to celebrate the 1962 Mass in Latin. This right is then restricted in various ways when it is celebrated as a parish public Mass (Article 5). The local bishop can not restrict a priest’s general right to celebrate in Latin for EITHER Missal because, under Canon 928, every priest has a fundamental right to celebrate in Latin, the lingua sacra of the Latin Church. It is unthinkable that any bishop could hamper a priest who wants to celebrate in his own sacred tongue. Once ordained, the Church assumes that the priest’s command of Latin (if any) is adequate. Bishops can and should set standards for learning Latin in seminary but, once ordained, a priest has certain rights proper to his sacred order, and this is one of them.

    These chancery hacks just don’t get it. They can’t even interpret the English translation, let alone the Latin original. That is how deficient these clowns really are. The liturgy tsar for this diocese quoted above should himself have to demonstrate proficiency in both languages. He also needs an I.Q. test.

    On and on it goes. Let us pray that (a) priests wanting to celebrate the old Mass simply ignore these miscreants and (b) the Holy See correct some of these errors.


  28. Tom says:

    For whatever it is worth, I was a parishioner of one of the examiners,
    Fr. Kallaher, when he was assigned up in Dayton. I found him to be a
    very devout priest and a fair and reasonable individual.

  29. Maureen says:

    *mischievous look*

    How is someone with only an MA in Latin — a mere magister — qualified to sit on this panel?

    Isn’t there anyone with a proper doctorate in Latin in this diocese?

  30. Maureen: I don’t think that is really a problem. I know a priest in my home diocese who does not have any advanced degrees, but he remains to this day one of the most learned men I have ever met. His knowledge of Latin is impeccable. He cites Virgil and Horace in Latin. He quotes the New Testament and Homer in Greek.

  31. Tom:  <b>I was a parishioner of one of the examiners, Fr. Kallaher</b>

    Thanks for that!  I am very glad for this news and his good reputation.

  32. Father Robisch is a friend of mine, and is the outgoing pastor of my parish. While he is not hostile to Latin, and indeed is proud of our parish’s use of a chanted Agnus Dei and Kyrie during Advent and Lent, there has been no celebration of the extraordinary form at St. Mary in over forty years. In any event, the key question is not the calibre or attitude of the men on the panel, but the legitimacy of the panel itself.

  33. John Eakins says:

    I absolutely agree with everything Mr. Perkins said. I would only say that the ‘chancery hacks’ and the ‘chief liturgist’ “Get” it, but that they are being intentionally dishonest, desparate to maintain the control that the Holy Father specifically removed from the bishop. That is the intent of the MP, obviously, because the bishops were abusing their authority.

    It is also apparent that the bishop and the hacks are demeaning the priests in the diocese by their basically acting as though the priests cannot read English.

    They are also showing disrespect for the Holy Father and I pray that one day PB XVI will crack down on at least one dissenting bishop to set an example.

  34. Benard of Arezzo says:

    Another reason the city gets referred to as “The Nati”…

    Across the river, in Covington, they (last time I was there) offered the old mass in the Cathedral every Sunday. I wonder what their Bishop will say.

    ‘Mildly annoyed’ might look into St. Gertrude in Maderia — a Dominican Church. Not to be confused with the OTHER St. Gertrude in the Nati, a sedevacantist church. And they also have (from what I hear in the grapevine) 2 or 3 SSPX churches in the area… Clearly Pilarzek has some work to do, and his tacit assumption that things are going fine and there is no need to change is not quite right.

  35. Brian says:

    I would like to know how many appeals the Ecclesia Dei Commission
    has received?

  36. You may think the Archbishop right or wrong, but know that he is a brilliant classicist, and he knows Latin.

  37. who is N.B. in the comments (nota bene)?

  38. Serafino says:

    Father J,

    Thank you for your legal and canonical opinion in this matter. Your words are very encouraging. In fact, this is the same opinion of several other canonists who maintain, that while the bishop is the “moderator” of the liturgy, he lacks the legal authority to interpret the Motu Proprio, or restrict its implementation by additional conditions and requirements.

    It is also apparent, the bishops, many of whom do not want the extraordinary rite in their dioceses, resent the provision of the MP which allow the pastor to implement the rite in their parishes without requesting permission.

  39. Fr. Fox: a brilliant classicist, and he knows Latin.

    Then he knew very well what he was writing.  Right?

  40. Maureen says:

    Re: the archdiocese

    People keep telling me there’s all kinds of funky stuff going on at other parishes, but I have to say I never run into it around here. Maybe I’m just familiar with the wrong parishes (or rather, the right ones).But on the odd occasion I do run into something seriously funky, I have to say that it’s usually pretty difficult not to notice.

    I can’t get over this “equal” business, though. I really can’t. This seems to me to have implications far beyond the motu proprio. It literally has to be a mistake, because otherwise it means a really basic misunderstanding of the nature of the sacraments. And I can’t believe that’s what the archbishop has in mind.

    Re: other stuff

    The Our Lady of the Rosary Mass has a schola?

    (grumpgrump nobodyevertellsmeanything grump)

    Not that it matters, I guess, since there’s no possible way to catch a bus from my particular corner of town to that other corner of Dayton at that early hour on Sunday. (Since I don’t have a car.) But it’s nice to know what’s going on.

  41. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to the second illegal condition set forth in this instruction, I note that, once again, these brilliant classicists seem to be incabable even of reading “Summorum Pontificum” in English translation. I ask everyone on this blog to re-read Section 1 of Article 5. Nowhere does it stipulate that any group (whether ‘continuously-existing’, which is what continenter really means, or ‘stable’) must exist in a parish in order that a parish priest schedule a public Mass according to the 1962 Missal. What it stipultes is that, where such a group lodges a request to restore the Traditional Latin Mass, the parish priest is enjoined to accede to that request. However, there is nothing written there which would prevent the parish priest from proceeding even if he received no such request, or even if such a group did not even exist in his parish. What the law does not forbid is allowed. In order for the existence of such a group to be necessary, the text would have had to stipulate that the parish priest can proceed *only* when he receives such a request. It does not say that. ‘Only’ (e.g. si … modo) does not appear in the Latin text. The Bishop of Cincinnati has no authority to add a condition to an act of the Apostolic See or to amend the texts of its laws.

    So does Summorum Pontificum grant parish priests such rights? Refer back to the second paragraph of Article 1. That Section grants a general right of all priests to celebrate the 1962 Mass in Latin. Other laws give parish priests rights to schedule parish Masses. Therefore, parish priests may schedule 1962 Masses except insofar as this is limited by rights arising from other laws and from S.P. These other laws include Missale Romanum, 1970, which makes normative the New Mass. However, where the right of access of the parishioners to the New Mass is not unduly impeded, the parish priest is free to schedule 1962 Masses at times that are free for this, whether celebrated by him or by some other priest whom he invites.

    Can these hacks not think? They probably can. They are all brilliant classicists. But if they can think, the case is worse for them. Disobedience and lack of charity are sins, whereas stupidity is not. Justice is the giving of every man his due. If priests have a fundmental right here that is being impeded by chancery hacks and even bishops, then the perpetrators need to repair to he confessional.

    The Supreme Pontiff has recognised (not accorded) that every priest of the Latin Church has a general right to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. He has then set forth some norms to explain how the practice of this right is limited by other laws. Priests need not even inform their bishops of the 1962 Masses they intend to celebrate. They can also discard illegal regulations from the local chancery and schedule changes for Holy Cross Day.

    Traditionalist Catholics have been persecuted for forty years. Notice how these clowns have not commented on the Holy Father’s finding that the old Mass was never abrogated. If it was never abrogated, why were so many priests and people perseculted for adhering to it? They are so quick to apologise for what other Catholics did hundreds of years ago. Perhaps they should devote more energy to apologising to us for their *own* sin against those who are attached to the Latin Mass of Tradition.


  42. EVERYONE: Let’s avoid the “clowns” and “hacks” stuff. Make points without these labels which will make your arguments stronger.

    Attack the positions without making ad hominem remarks, especially about the ordained.

    At least on this blog, that’s what I ask you to do. I do not want this blog to get the reputation among priests and prelates that here personal attacks on the ordained are welcome or permitted.

  43. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Stable Group over the years

    What the Latin words refer to is a continuously-existing group but not “over the years”. The chancery hacks here have misconstrued the context of the the provisions of Section 1, Article 5. I have noticed that most people have done so, even on our side. Sentence 1 of Section 1 makes no reference to limitations on the rights of parish priests. It concerns limitations on the rights of faithful in *regard* to parish priests. Parish and other priests are recognised a general right, under Article 1, Paragraph 2, to celebrate the 1962 Mass. This right is indeed limited in some ways owing to the right of reasonable access of the faithful to the New Mass. When two rights to do something co-exist, but there is a limit on the times, places, and manpower to provide for both, rules must be formulated to limit the two in terms of each other. That is what Section 2 does. Section 1 also does that in its second sentence, the one about harmonisation; but it does NOT do so in its first sentence, the one mentioning continuously-existing groups attached to the 1962 Mass.

    The first sentence of Section 1, Article 5, pertains to the rights of faithful. Suppose a group of them request this Mass. Must the parish priest accede to their request? The sentence stipulates that no, the parish priest is enjoined to accede to the request but not required to do so. When is he enjoined to accede to their request? When the group is continuously-existing in his parish and is attached to the old Mass. The idea here is that such a group can approach the bishop to complain that their request was rejected; it was clearly not intended as a means for bishops to obstruct parish priests. If the group exists in the parish, if it is continuously-existing, and if its members are attached to the old Mass, the bishop may interfere to admonish the parish priest for not celebrating that Mass; it is not there so that the bishop can demand that he *stop* celebrating it! They have inverted the application of these restrictions!

    On ‘continuously-existing’, Canon 36 applies: words are to be interpreted broadly when conceding a right. An incidence of as few as two consecutive occurrences according to a temporal rule is the minimum requirement for continuity, provided that this continuity has extended to the time of its reference. For example, if I say that a guest has slept in my house for two consecutive Thursdays ending with last Thursday, it can be said that the guest’s presence has been continuous.

    Keep in mind that ‘continuously-existing’, ‘in the parish’, attached to the 1962 Mass’, and ‘group’ are categories the existence of which *enjoin*, not require, a priest to accede to a request. They are not exhaustive because the adjective “only” appears nowhere here. The priest could refuse a request on the grounds that it was not coming from a group existing continuously in the parish, but he could also refuse for other reasons (e.g. his own poor health or the reasonable needs of other parishioners for the New Mass).

    The point is that the restrictions of this sentence limit a right of access of the faithful to parish Masses of the 1962 Missal; they do not limit parish priests’ rights to celebrate that Mass.


  44. Father Z:

    Yes, the Archbishop knows well what he wrote, or what was written for him.

  45. Father Z:

    Yes, the Archbishop knows well what he wrote, or what was written for him.

  46. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    I will gladly agree to your policies and not use the terms ‘clown’ and ‘hack’ and so on. It is your blog and you make the rules However, I wish to make clear that I do not agree with this policy generally (although it may be necessary as a measure of prudence here). The ordained do indeed deserve an ordinary respect in ordinary circumstances. But this is not an absolute. That is why it is a special sin to strike a priest *because* he is a priest, but not to do so for other reasons. Nowhere do I attack the sacred priesthood of any Catholic priest, whether he was ordained under the old Ordinal or the faulty new one. Both validly provide real priests. But I note that the genteel attitude coming from the later nineteenth century is clearly not that of earlier times. Imagine the thundering words of a Dr. Johnson or of Jonathan Swift, not to mention St. Catherine of Siena. They did not hesitate to denouce evil in “words as hard as cannonballs” (to quote the American, Ralph Waldo Emerson).

    Naturally, the reaction of traditionalists is emotional. The treatment we have received at the hands of these cruel but incompetent bishops has amounted to criminal behaviour. Where is the tradition of a rulership of service, one that comes from the mandatum? These bishops don’t wash the feet of the faithful; instead, they kick the faithful in the face. Hence they are not worthy to rule and others should be put in their place by the Pope.

    The Holy Father has said, in effect, that we have a right to our Mass because it is a treasure. Nobody can forbid that which is holy and good. Most traditionalist don’t want to stop the New Mass. We just want to be left in peace. But when your enemy comes at your with a tank, you must defend yourself. Firing a water pistol back at him just won’t do. And, yes, they are our enemies. We must love our enemies but we should not confuse them with our friends. After forty years, we know better.


  47. Fr. David Howard says:

    Thanks for your comments above, Fr. Zuhlsdorf! I certainly think that sometimes we can be our own worst enemies!

    Admittedly, as I read many of the responses from different dioceses, I find myself becoming somewhat depressed (and … yes … even frustrated) at the negativity… on both sides. (I must confess, in my frustration, I am probably as equally guilty of this in talking with my brother priests).

    However, I think it certainly will do us more good to pray for all of our priests, that they might always strive to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in either form, with proper reverence and devotion.

    Additionally, those priests who might wish to learn how to celebrate the “extraordinary” form correctly and reverently, will certainly benefit from (and certainly need) prayers as well. Pray especially for our perserverance!

    While I have had very limited exposure to the “extraordinary form”, I have always found it to be so very beautiful. And, in my very limited study and research, I suspect it will take those of us who aren’t as familiar with it some time to properly learn the rubrics, so that we might offer this form with proper reverence and devotion.

    At the same time, however, I am trying my best each and every day to offer the “ordinary” form with proper reverence and devotion, which can be very beautiful if offerect correctly. And, admittedly, I believe that I will always have room for improvement, and that I am constantly learning how to do so. And, I believe that many of my brother priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are good and holy priests, and they would admit that they are always striving to improve as well in offering this Holy Sacrifice.

    And, so, might I offer that we especially pray for conversion of heart, support our priests, and ask the Master of the Harvest for more good and holy priests to serve in our dioceses and throughout the world.


  48. RBrown says:

    You may think the Archbishop right or wrong, but know that he is a brilliant classicist, and he knows Latin.
    Comment by Fr. Martin Fox

    I noted earlier that he is a Classicist, but I think the word “brilliant” should be reserved for special cases.

    At any rate, the sinking number of priests in the Cincinnati Archdiocese seems to indicate that the Pilarczyk performance as Archbishop cannot be called “brilliant”.

  49. P.K.T.P.: wish to make clear that I do not agree with this policy generally

    Yah… I got that part.


  50. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to Cincinnati, I note the following: (a) there is already one every-Sunday Mass being celebrated there by the F.S.S.P. and (b) Archbishop Pilarczyk has turned 73 a few days ago. I wish I could sincerely offer him a Happy Birthday. I cannot.

    In regard to (b), this makes the Archbishop a so-called ‘lame duck’. Over the next two years, he will gradually lose control of any campaign to obsruct the old Mass because any real or implied threats against priests issued from his chancery will become less and less realisable. The next archbishop will have everything to gain and nothing to lose by co-operating with the will of the Pope, who is our Patriarch of the West (whether he uses the title or no).

    In regard to (a), clearly, one every-Sunday 1962 Mass for such a populous archdiocese is inadequate. Nevertheless, this is yet another example of an Indult-friendly bishop trying to run interference for his Indult-hostile colleagues. Where are the 1962 Masses for in the Dioceses of Brownsville, Madison, Greensburg, Toledo, Steubenville, Wheeling-Charleston, Charlotte, Winona, Saginaw, New Ulm, Joliet, Evansville, Owensboro, Springfield (any of them) and so on? Many of them I have listed are in the vicinity of Cincinnati.

    I have recently heard about new every-Sunday Masses for past Indult-hostile sees. These include Metuchen, Lafayette (the one in Louisiana), Monterey, and even Altoona-Johnstown (where a priest is now apparently proceeding in open defiance of Bishop Adamec), and for Antigonish, Québec, and Victoria in Canada. I really do pray not for conflict but for an acceptance among the bishops for the Traditional Latin Mass. Everything should be done irenically and with charity. What is needed is a reasonable access to the old Mass for the faithful, and a recognistion that priests should be able to benefit from this Mass for their own devotion whenever this does not unduly obstruct access to the New Mass. is that so much to ask for?

    This convening of committees to compose Latin exams is petty and obscene. I implore Archbishop Pilarczyk to stop embarrassing himself. We have all seen how these ‘moderators of the liturgy’ cannot even prevent priests from arriving at the Altar on motorcycles. Some priests of the New Mass have broken every rule in the book and have gotten away with it. Where is the moderation in these ‘moderators’?


  51. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I appreciate the comments of Fr. Howard. Still, I note that nowhere is any bishop convening committees to teach the rubrics of the New Mass, or to ensure that priests celebrating in the vernacular comprehend the language they are using (e.g. Spanish in America, or English among Spanish-speaking priests). No priests having the lowly M.A. degree have been called in to protect standards!

    In my Diocese, one priest removed the Holy Cross from the Altar and replaced it with a pumpkin on Hallowe’en. And yes, Fr. Z., I do feel emotional about that. That priest, who was never disciplined, had Masses with faithful sitting on the floor in a circle, he used invalid matter for the Eucharist, and held mass services of reconciliation with general absolution. I find it hypocritical for bishops to convene committees (what Fr. Z. rights calls an “inquisition”) to ensure that the 1962 Mass is celebrated properly.

    I rather expect the the immutability of Latin and the exactitude of the rubrical directions of the old Mass can help priests celebrate the New Mass as well. It can do so by changing their outlook. I agree with Fr. Howard that the New Mass can be celebrated with great reverence and devotion. But there are no committees around to ensure that it is. That is because these immoderate moderators of the liturgy have not been doing their duty. They act only to harm us, not to help everyone.


  52. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Fox: Yes, the Archbishop knows well what he wrote, or what was written for him.

    One might prefer that he did not. I have sometimes speculated that many of our our bishops are not nearly so mediocre as what’s written for them so often makes them look.

  53. Fr. David Howard says:

    While I recognize the arguments made thus far, I must play “devil’s advocate” here and say, that in all fairness to the Archbishop, there has been no indication (at least that I am aware of) that there will be a ‘Latin exam’ per se or what even this certification will entail … but, perhaps I’m missing something. I will concede that. But, there are still several questions to be answered with respect to this committee. Perhaps training will be offered through the committee… I do not know at this point. If someone has more knowledge of this, I would welcome it. At least, from my end, I don’t have all of the information and there are more questions that need to be answered.

    Ultimately, however, if this committee has been established in order to HELP priests learn how to celebrate the “extraordinary form” properly and reverently (which is what we all want … I believe), and not to serve as an obstacle, then would such be a “bad thing”?

  54. Fr. Howard: negativity

    I know what you mean.

    I also have a couple more things to say.

    First, while I don’t want to have directly personal attacks, vilifying any person, I think it is quite proper to examine carefully the public statements they make. If they publish it, we can parse it. And if what they publish is unworthy, I think we have the right to point that out in no uncertain terms.

    Second, many of those whom we have examined in these blog entries have not really been held to account for what they have done, at least regard to the older form of Mass,… or the newer form for that matter. It’s about time.

    So, on this blog, let there be discussion and clarity that does not devolve into simply name calling. Stick to positions, not epithets.

  55. To see one of the cincinnati inquisition team members offering Mass go to

    Fr. Kallaher appears to be disobedient to the Holy See’s clear instruction about not using glass vessels and not having the extraordinary ministers of Holy communionup at the altar before the priest communicates himself.

    One of the other inquisitors, Fr. Robisch insisted that we all stand during the entire Eucharistic prayer at St. Albert the great in Kettering Ohio when he was our pastor.

    The third member of Arcbishop Pilarzyk’s team, Fr. Pater is the author of “Penance Today:A Liturgical Problem” in ASSEMBLY published by the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy.

  56. Fr. Howard:  

    Ultimately, however, if this committee has been established in order to HELP priests learn how to celebrate the “extraordinary form” properly and reverently (which is what we all want … I believe), and not to serve as an obstacle, then would such be a “bad thing”?

    Hardly!  It would be wonderful!  Let us hope that that is the case.

    And if it is, then I will trumpet it on this blog and… gulp… thank His Excellency for implementing it.

  57. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Howard,

    I take it you are a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Would you not think that among your almost 300 fellow priests there would be three whose qualifications “to HELP priests learn how to celebrate the ‘extraordinary form’ properly and reverently” would be evident and beyond question? Even in the much smaller dioceses that I’m familiar with, I’m confident that three priests competent in the older form (as well as respectful of the new form’s norms) could be found.

    Seriously, your suggestion — even in the form of a question — that the intended purpose of this committee is to HELP, is surely the best line of the day so far.

  58. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Howard:

    If anyone has to “[demonstrate] a sufficient ability” to know Latin before a committee, that is definitely an examination, a test. Anyone who has defended a dissertation would realise that not all exams are written exams!

    But I would need to write a second doctoral dissertation to catalogue all the abuses that have been permitted and sometimes even encouraged by our immoderate moderators of the liturgy. Sometimes the perpetrators have been the bishops themselves. No committees of experts were convened to impose any standards–ever–anywhere–under any conditions.

    In my local parish, some years ago, I asked the lady in charge of the sanctuary why she had decorated it with white and yellow flowers during Lent. I explained that this was not proper and why. Well, she answered, thank you for the information. We sometimes don’t know these rules because all the ladies on the sanctuary committee are members of Protestant churches. Apparently, this was an Å“cumenical gesture on the part of our parish priest! I’m surprised he didn’t appoint a witch or two. Anything goes if it’s the wild New Mass. But if it is to be the Mass of Catholic Tradition, only those holding treble doctorates in Latin, Canon Law, and Philosophy are eligible to sit the exam, which will be rigorous indeed. I wonder, though, would you be marked wrong for translating ‘pro multis’ as ‘for many’?


  59. PKTP: I wonder, though, would you be marked wrong for translating ‘pro multis’ as ‘for many’?

    A very good point!

  60. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I agree with Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s comment that a committee to assist priests would be entirely acceptable. What we have, of course, is a committee claiming illegally the authority to prevent priests from celebrating their ancient liturgy in its lingua sacra. This is an outrage.

    I would like to point out some very wise words of Bishop Fernando Arêas Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of St. John-Mary Vianney. When the motu proprio was published, he noticed that the ordering of the articles suggested a process for priests to follow if they wanted to learn the 1962 Mass. They start with Article 2, learning the rubrics and familiarising themselves with the Latin. These are Masses celebrated by the priest and only one server. Once the priest feels capable (I dare say, “idoneus”), he uses Article 4 to invite some guests to be present at Masses having no regular schedule. During this time, he improves some more. Some of the guests might be experts or else devotees who can help him along. For example, we have a real expert on liturgical propriety in my ‘cÅ“tus’ here in Victoria. He knows all the details for both East and West. He keeps mentioning something about the way the priest is supposed to lay aside or fold a vestment at some point. (I’m not sure about that. Can someone comment?). Once the priest has become truly expert, he can then schedule regular parish Masses or ask a parish priest to allow him to offer them (if he is not one himself). It all makes so much sense.

    I think that Bishop Rifan was implying here that the Holy Father is essentially laying out a programme to be followed. The movement from [dry Mass] to Mass with server to Mass with guests to public parish Mass ensures a smooth transition. At the end of the process, the priest can offer a dignified Mass which will deepen the devotion of the entire congregation, and even edify it. If only the same could be said of the New Mass!

    But notice that this process involves no Latin exams and no committees of watchdogs who, as one contributor has proved, introduce abuses themselves. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


  61. Sara says:

    As a fairly new Catholic (recieved into the Church this Easter) and as a resident of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, I must say I find the immediate negative reaction toward Archbishop Pilarczyk’s letter disheartening. This brings back very bad memories of the doctrinal disputes that would arise over the smallest issues and which would lead to congregations splitting. Admittedly I am not aware of all the history behind some of these reactions.

    Let me say, I have no burning desire to attend the TLM but I also would not deny it to those who do have a burning desire for it. I would caution everyone to assume the best motives behind the Archbishop’s letter until proven otherwise.

    Fr. Howard, I am a parishoner at your parish and I do appreciate the job you do. Rest assured that I include you and your brother priest in my daily prayers and am extremely thankful for your service to the Church.

  62. Sara says:

    As a fairly new Catholic (recieved into the Church this Easter) and as a resident of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, I must say I find the immediate negative reaction toward Archbishop Pilarczyk’s letter disheartening. This brings back very bad memories of the doctrinal disputes that would arise over the smallest issues and which would lead to congregations splitting. Admittedly I am not aware of all the history behind some of these reactions.

    Let me say, I have no burning desire to attend the TLM but I also would not deny it to those who do have a burning desire for it. I would caution everyone to assume the best motives behind the Archbishop’s letter until proven otherwise.

    Fr. Howard, I am a parishoner at your parish and I do appreciate the job you do. Rest assured that I include you and your brother priest in my daily prayers and am extremely thankful for your service to the Church.

  63. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Sara:

    Thank you for your charitable reply. But I think that you are right in saying that much of this dispute is foreign to you. I hope that my post here will help you appreciate the traditionalist point of view.

    In 1988, His Holiness Pope John Paul II issued a motu proprio in which he asked the bishops of the world to allow faithful to benefit from the
    Traditional Latin Mass on a “wide and generous” basis. This action had a wondrous effect. It excited the hopes of so many. For fifteen years and more, many faithful yearned for the Mass that was so close to their hearts. Some older people died requesting the only Mass that conveyed the Faith to them. They were cruelly denied. There was no mercy for them even on their deathbeds by these men who claim to be pastors of souls. Please understand the deep pain that this caused so many people. Others reacted with hot anger. The reason for the bishops’ intransigence was a revolution that took place in the 1960s. I will say nothing more about it here so as to avoid an overlong post.

    This summer, our new Pope liberated the old Mass. “Summorum Pontificum” recognises that the Traditional Mass had never been abrogated in the first place and established norms for protecting priests’ and faithful’s rights to benefit spiritually from it. Keep in mind that this is about our souls and our love for the Church. The Pope did not limit any right of access to the New Mass. Quite the contrary. He merely allowed both and stipulated that the New must take precedence in cases of limited times and places.

    Many of the local bishops have reacted as if this is a slight to them and a limitation of their authority. They are miffed. Some of them also fear a loss of face because they supported a New Mass that has failed to prevent a truly staggering decline in the Catholic Church in terms of vocations, churchgoing, schooling, conversions, and even recourse to the Sacraments–even to Baptism. The older bishops, in particular, fear that an allowance of the Traditional Latin Mass amounts to an admission that all the reforms were a mistake–their mistake. Archbishop Pilarczyk is 73 years old and is from this group.

    I wish that people could just live in peace with one another. How on earth can we convert the world and glorify our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Holy and Immaculate Mother if one group of faithful is trying to rob another of something which is good and holy and pleasing to God? Some traditionalists would militantly suppress the New Mass ‘with extreme prejudice’. I am not in their number. If that is what God wants, it will happen, but it is not for me to advocate the suppression of something that Holy Church has enacted. What I want is merely to live in peace with fellow Catholics. But they won’t allow that. Perhaps it is not meant to be. He came to bring not peace but a sword.


  64. Fr. David Howard says:

    Again … I was hoping to give the Archbishop and this committee the benefit of the doubt … and people are certainly free to personally disagree with me and have reservations, just as I am free to suspend my position until more information is provided.

    Yes … I am a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. And, I certainly do believe that the “extraordinary form” should be made available and that it is very beautiful and very rich. But, until I get more information regarding this committee … I just do not believe that I can assume that it is an obstacle. I prefer to wait and see. To date, I haven’t received any more information regarding this commission … and, I will look forward to hearing more.


  65. Jim R. says:


    Yes, Our Lady of the Rosary does have a schola, the Schola Cantorum Daytoniensis.

    See the Dayton Latin Mass website Click on the newsletter.

    If anyone in the Northern half of the Archdiocese is curious about the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, I would strongly encourage them to try and attend Our Lady of the Rosary in Dayton. Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form is at 8:45 AM. See the website for more information. OLR is a fairly large church. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that Mass was standing room only? Presently, attendance averages about 200 per week. There are a lot of large families.

  66. Fr. David Howard says:

    While I find myself slightly disappointed in some of what I perceived to be slightly demeaning comments above (Quidquid recipitur, per modem recipientis recipitur,) I thank you Sara for your nice comments and prayers. And, I promise I will continue to try to be the best priest that I can be and will continue to strive for holiness along with many of my brother priests.

    And, as I sign of, and my short-lived “blogging experiment” comes to its end(especially before I become addicted to “blogging”), I pray that charity and understanding prevail in the on-going discussion of the MP and its responses, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may never become divisive and both forms be given their due reverence and respect, and that we take our concerns before our Eucharistic Lord and pray to Him for our Church, our Bishops, Priests, and Deacons and for one another!

    And, quoting Blessed John XXIII, I say, “It’s your church, Lord, I’m going to bed ”

    Oremus pro invicem

  67. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Howard:

    Nevertheless, there are certain rights and duties that are proper to your priesthood, just as others are proper to the episcopate, and still others to the ‘priesthood of the faithful’. What is particularly outrageous is that any bishop should suggest that an ordained priest must demonstrate his facility in Latin to any committee in order to be qualified to celebrate Mass in his sacred tongue. Yes, the bishop can, perhaps, request that priests demonstrate proficiency in Latin. But to ask for this and to command it as a condition for celebrating are two different things. Latin is the common right of all the priests of the Latin Church. That is why we call it the Latin Church; and it is why John Paul II once reprimanded a priest in public for referring to “the American Church”. Bishops can and should certainly make competence in Latin a prerequisite in the seminary. But, once ordained, they simply cannot bar priests from using it, just as a Syrian Catholic bishop could not bar one of his priests from using Syriac, insisting instead that he celebrate only in Arabic. That would be unthinkable. In such a situation, the Syrian or the Latin priest should not only refuse to comply but should make a point of it because this is a matter of defending a fundamental principle.

    Note this this unconditional right to celebrate in Latin at least at unscheduled private Masses applies to *both* Missals, both that of 1962 and that of 1970. According to Canon 928, “the Eucharistic celebration is to be carried out either in the Latin language or in another language”. Particular laws can limit the use of other languages. For example, a bishop can require that the celebrant have some knowledge of the vernacular he is using (but they never do it!). But the Latin language, on the other hand, is the common patrimony of all the priests of the Latin Church. Nobody can take this away from any Latin priest who is ordained! It would be like forbidding the use of the chasuble.

    As for the rubrics, priests are not kindergarten children. They can learn the rubrics on their own. But the bishop, as moderator of the local liturgy, can ensure that they are followed. However, as a matter of justice, he must do so equally for all Masses. There can be no double standard. Now it is true that priests will have learnt the rubrics for the New Mass in seminary, but not those for the old. Fair enough. However, bishops have a duty to see to it that rubrics are followed equally in both Masses. Hence, if there are any priests in Cincinnati who are using glass vessels at the New Mass, let them be disciplined and subjected to the same scrutiny!

    On this occasion, a firm position needs to be taken. It is not only our right but even our duty to defend those privileges that are proper to our ordained priesthood.


  68. Fr. Z said:

    “I find the tone of this statement to be very lofty indeed, even a little menancing. ”

    Very aptly put. The sentiment displayed in His Excellency’s letter is out of place for the subject.


  69. Fr. David Howard says:

    Dear P.K.T.P.

    I cannot disagree with anything you said in your last entry, and I am quite familiar with the canon. And, I have argued some of your very same positions with others. And, I have celebrated the “ordinary form” in Latin. My point is simply that while I would like to learn the “extraordinary form”, I would certainly welcome some help and guidance in doing so …that’s all. We are all in this together.

  70. John Murray says:


    Just a note on Abp Pilarczyk’s classical qualifications. He received his Ph.D. in classics from the Univ of Cincinnati in 1969; his dissertation was on Tacitus.

    Actually, having been born and raised in Cincinnati, I wouldn’t expect a “Cincinnati Inquisition” but one wouldn’t surprise me either.

  71. John Murray says:


    Just a note on Abp Pilarczyk’s classical qualifications. He received his Ph.D. in classics from the Univ of Cincinnati in 1969; his dissertation was on Tacitus.

    Actually, having been born and raised in Cincinnati, I wouldn’t expect a “Cincinnati Inquisition” but one wouldn’t surprise me either.

  72. John Murray: If he wrote on Tacitus, then his Latin was, at least then, pretty strong. Of course, there was never a question of whether of not His Excellency had strong Latin skills. He would not have to have written a dissertation on Tacitus to be idoneus. Nor do any priests anywhere. They need to be able to pronounce the words properly. We hope for more, but that is the force of idoneus.

  73. John Murray says:

    Fr. Z.

    Yes, my take is that Abp. Pilarczyk is, really, seeking to avoid fulfilling the motu proprio. I’m sure he knows exactly what he is doing, or at least trying to do. It wouldn’t surprise me if the chancery put tremendous pressure put on priests who want to celebrate the extraordinary rite. As my (Byzantine) priest noted, there are always rural parishes far far away that need new pastors.

    With family still in Cincinnati, I visit several times a year. A desire to follow the canons in the ordinary rite has been lacking in Cinti for decades. That’s been clear to me for most of my life.

    Thanks for your astute commentaries.

  74. Since the Archbishop’s latin is so strong it makes his questionable translation of the word “coetus” all the more suspicious.
    I would hope that he did read the original Latin, being the big time Latin scholar.

  75. Andy K. says:

    Dear John Murray,

    I read in these entries that the Tridentine Liturgy in Dayton is now at 8:45 AM. That can easily be an hour drive from some of the hinterlands. They deserve good priests too. So, I say, let the rural areas also have ready access to the Tridentine Liturgy. St. Mary’s and Bellefontaine still have parishes!

  76. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Howard:

    I understand your position entirely. Yes, it would be good if the purpose of the Archbishop’s initiative was to help priests learn the Traditonal Latin Mass. Sadly, he has made it a barrier to priests rather than a help.

    I note that no bishop down there in the U.S.A. (or up here in Canada either) has ever convened a committee to screen priests who want to celebrate the New Mass in Latin. In the U.S.A., there are currently 57 every-Sunday Latin Masses according to the New Missal, in 37 sees. Where are all the Latin exams for those celebrants? Where are all the committees to ensure competence in Latin? Where are the committees to ensure the same standards in Latin for the more than 140 Indult Masses in Latin in the U.S.A. (in 109 sees). And where, of course, are the committees needed to oversee the liturgy of the New Mass, so that even committee members don’t use glass vessels for the Precious Blood?

    These are only rhetorical questions posed for the benefit of all contributors here. I am sure that you will agree entirely with the point.


  77. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Has anyone noticed how this absurd new terminology, obviously coming not from Benedict XVI but from that Msgr. Perl character, has ironic connotations in English?

    One extended meaning of ordinary is banal, insipid, uninspired, prosaic, pedestrian, boring. In contrast, extradordinary, while it can mean ‘unusual’, can also mean superb.

    I would say that the New Mass is very ordinary indeed. How very ordinary it is.

    I must say that I am surprised that the liturgy tsars in the Vatican did not catch the ironic possibilities here. After all, English is one of the most important vernaculars used by faithful. Really, only Spanish takes precedence over it. It is a sign, I think, that English was not the working language for the apostolic letter. If Perl was involved, that may have been French (he is from Luxembourg), or it may have been German or Italian.


  78. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Now that the Archbishop of Cincinnati has decided to form a committee to test the Latin skills of his priests, in the interest of fairness, we clearly need to ensure that standards are assured. Therefore, I suggest that the Holy See convene a commission to test the members of such local committees. It would travel to America on visitation and swoop down to test the Latin skills of the three members of the committee in Cincinnati. Of course, they would have no trouble passing the three-hour examination. Each of them would be allowed a dictionary, a bottle of aspirins, and a glass of water–oh, and some tissues to wipe away any tears that may fall. They would also be investigated for rubrical violations in their Masses, but this would be done secretly.

    Those committee members who failed the test set by the commission would be dismissed and sent off to some monastery where every word uttered would have to be in Latin.

    Anyway, since the Archbishop himself is so skilled in Latin, he just might have to say all the 1962 Masses himself for any groups of two to five hundred people who might request this. After all, his is a rulership of service.


  79. Fugue says:

    Wow, Perkins, take it easy! Yes, there may be some frustration due to the workings of the worship office. The Archbishop is big into delegation, although he was involved in the letter, I’m sure he consulted all of his “liturgical/sacramental theologians” that were almost all trained at Notre Dame in the 80s and 90s and took their word as definitive (although Fr. Pater was educated in Rome). They are after all, supposed to be experts. Be patient. The seminary in Cincinnati now requires Latin in the seminary, at least for the new class this year (a huge change from just 5 years ago). The younger priests are very faithful to the Church and are open to the extraordinary form of the Mass. Things will change with time. The Archbishop is a man of his generation (a quickly aging one at that, with a little more than a year to age 75), and one of the most intelligent bishops in the world. Don’t even try to understand him. We are called to be faithful.

    Sure, we can blame Bernadin or Jadot, etc. etc. Give me a break! His Excellency is not a political pawn! He is a man of God who acts in persona Christi daily and who wears the pallium as a sign of his faithfulness to the Pope. He does not want to destroy the Church. Let’s not forget that he is the chief shepherd of Cincinnati and has been for many years and probably knows how to guide his flock. Sure (RBrown), you can point to falling numbers of Catholics and priests in Cincinnati as “proof” of His Excellency’s supposed ineffectiveness, but surely you know the fallacy of such thinking (post hoc ergo propter hoc). The last 50 years in Cincinnati, the USA, and the world are not easily understood. Surely the Archbishop is not to blame for the sexual revolution, breakdown in morals, and loss of faith experienced by thousands. Wow, the bullets sure are flying; none of them are on target.

    btw, I am a big proponent of the extraordinary form of the Mass. But, we need to be reasonable here.
    Thank you, Fr. Z, for your critical analysis.

  80. RBrown says:

    Let’s not forget that he is the chief shepherd of Cincinnati and has been for many years and probably knows how to guide his flock. Sure (RBrown), you can point to falling numbers of Catholics and priests in Cincinnati as “proof” of His Excellency’s supposed ineffectiveness, but surely you know the fallacy of such thinking (post hoc ergo propter hoc).

    No, you’re wrong–it’s not a post hoc fallacy. A post fallacy has no causal link between the prior and posterior events. But the bishop is the shepherd of the diocese. And so there is a causal connection between the performance of the shepherd and the condition of the flock.

    I invite you to read St Augustine’s sermons De Pastoribus, which are to be found in the present volume of the Breviary.

    The last 50 years in Cincinnati, the USA, and the world are not easily understood. Surely the Archbishop is not to blame for the sexual revolution, breakdown in morals, and loss of faith experienced by thousands. Wow, the bullets sure are flying; none of them are on target.
    Comment by Fugue

    You’ve unwittingly touched on the truth. You’re right that there has been a “sexual revolution, breakdown in morals, and loss of faith”. But the Church has basically given in to it, and that’s why JRatzinger noted that the attempt at detente between the Church and secular society has been a failure.

    Wow, don’t look now, but you just shot yourself in the foot.

  81. RBrown says:

    The seminary in Cincinnati now requires Latin in the seminary, at least for the new class this year (a huge change from just 5 years ago).

    In so far as Vat II required Latin proficiency for candidates for the priesthood, don’t you think this is a little late?

  82. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fugue:

    You imply the usual error in this post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. It has now become common knowledge over at Philosophy 101 that the mere fact that b follows a does not mean that a caused b. Quite so. But the exaggerated form of this is the view now gaining ground that, if b followed a, a could not possibly have caused b. I am not accusing you of arguing this. I am merely pointing out that it is equally fallacious. Consider that, at the time of Vatican II, the prelates promised a truly amazing new Pentecost, a new springtime. The Church would flourish. Suppose for a second that incredible growth had followed the reforms. And then suppose that I had argued that this growth was not connected to the reforms. I would be laughed out of town, and yet I would be mouthing ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’.

    If b follows a, we then examine the evidence to see if there might be a causal link. It may be that a entirely caused b; it may be that a was only one of several causes of b. In the case of the reforms, a devastating decline in churchgoing, vocations, conversions, Catholic schools, and even recourse to the Sacraments immediately followed upon the reforms. The statistics compiled so well by Mr. Kenneth Jones show that the ‘leading indicators’ for the Catholic Church were actually *improving* from 1945 to 1965, during which time the leading indicators for the mainstream Protestant denominations were in free-fall. On 29 November, 1964, in one day, the Mass went from Latin to English in most places in the Anglophone world. In the Francophone world, the change occurred just as quickly and at around the same time.

    According to Jones’s figures, the indicators made their volta to decline in 1965. By 1966, our leading indicators were in free-fall. In Quebec, one well-placed priest in Montreal admitted this: At the beginning of 1966, the churches were full; at the end of that year, they were almost empty.

    Now, why would the sexual revolution kick in specifically in 1966 for Catholics but not for Protestants? The same can be said for that aural trash, that sewage, rock noise. I do not think that the reforms were the underlying cause of the decline; but I do think that they triggered it and, as such, contributed to it. The reforms have not been reversed yet–and nor has the decline!

    It is not just a matter of one event following the other; one must also consider that the *rate* of change in the leading indicators mirrored the rate of change in liturgical revolution from 1964 to 1970. Consider the change in language of 1964 and then the changes in the Mass and how it was celebrated in 1965, then in 1967 (Tres Abhinc Annos), then in 1968 (addition of Bidding Prayers) and 1969 (addition of optional Canons). During this time, the barbarians moved in with their banjos and we had clown Masses, mime Masses, Masses with pumpkins on the Altar, Masses with sweetgrass wafting over the faithful: it was a devastating negation of every dignified gesture of the Mass of the Ages, and it affected the faithful deeply. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

    The figures show that the free-fall continued throughout the 1970s. Recently, the rate has slowed considerably, but we are still headed down, not up. And this is true for the entire world. The figure to watch is not the number of Catholics worldwide but their per centage of the earth’s population. There was one recent rise in that number (last year, I think). This is probably an anomaly. The trend was for a gradually slowing in the rate of growth to 2000 until it reached zero; since then, there has been a gradual fall. Will this decline increase in intensity? That is what Pope Benedict XVI would like to prevent. He has to start somewhere. He has started with the Mass. Summorum Pontificum will foster piety in a time of crisis but I also think that it will affect the New Mass and help to traditionalise it.


  83. Fugue says:

    I find it hard to believe that using the vernacular caused a breakdown in morals (I do not want to make it look as though I don’t believe in the importance and life-changing effects of the Mass). I also find it hard to believe that the revolution of the 60s only hit the Catholics hard. God took the back seat for a generation or two in the culture almost completely, even at Mass (as crazy as that sounds). Perhaps the Missal of Paul VI was more than the people of the time could handle (especially the priests).

    RBrown, while I won’t deny that I shot myself in the foot (as I often do), I think most would admit that the breakdown experienced in the church was at least multifactorial. I realize that the bishops have dropped the ball many times. But to put all the blame on his shoulders is ridiculous.

    “In so far as Vat II required Latin proficiency for candidates for the priesthood, don’t you think this is a little late?”

    Yes! Not only was it required by Vatican II, but subsequently by the New Code in 1983. It’s about time we get our ship in order. But, at least, the ship is getting in order.

  84. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I do not think that using the vernacular itself caused a breakdown in morals. What I think is that the Latin and the Chant and the rubrics of the Traditional Mass was a bulwark against revolution; it was a cause of stability and continuity; Latin is immutable and, like a stone Altar, symbolises the immutability of God Himself. When Latin was suddenly removed, faithful lost a spiritual and also a psychological barrier against the corrupted culture of the secular world. They could no longer look to the Church as an authority standing against the disvalues of the 1960s because the Church suddenly seemed to have adopted those disvalues when the very forms of her worship imitated the cultural norms outside the door. Note that the differences betweeen a solemn High Mass in Latin with all the smells and bells was outwardly the exact opposite of a sixties liturgy in the vernacular with people sitting in a circle around the Altar, singing kumbayah to banjo music, and so on. They were not only different: they were polar antipodes.

    Consider that the revolution entered the Church in every way imagainable, in the text of the Mass, the language used, the dress of churchgoers, the sacred vestments, the architecture, the music, the plastic arts: you name it. And they tried to change every form that connected people to the unchanging Faith. They even tried to change the Stations and the Rosary. When a change was difficult to effect, the old form was simply abandoned. Hence long lines a the confessional became no confession and a church with no confessional in it. Even the posture of the faithful was changed; even pews were removed. It was a revolution.

    How we pray affects what we believe and how we think: lex orandi, lex credendi. It is quite true that society at large had changed for other reasons. But the revolution in the Church is what made Catholics susceptible to adopting a revolutionary way of thinking. That is why the decline in leading indicators among Catholics lagged behind that of mainstream Protestants by twenty years. Faithful looked to the Church to stand resolutely against the errors of the Age of Aquarius; instead, the Church seemed to adopt those errors.

    RBrown is correct as well. Look, ever since the end of the Pauline reign of incompetence, Rome has been telling the bishops to clean up their act. She has done this in regard to Latin, liturgical propriety, moral issues, and so forth. The bishops, infected as they are by a revolutionary misinterpretation of collegiality, have mostly ignored the Holy See; sometimes they have even defied it. I could cite examples by the bookload.

    As for Archbishop Pilarczyk, I accuse him of nothing but note that he is one of those ‘older bishops’ from the liberal period. I am sure that contributors from Cincinnati could comment on his case. I cannot.


  85. Fugue says:

    Mr. Perkins,
    Chicken or egg? I think we have both here, although you provide a very convincing and well-put argument. You are certainly well-informed on church practice and doctrine. Thank you for your guidance on the issue. May the church have many holy priests and bishops!

    As for the Archbishop, I live in Cincinnati and must admit that he tends toward the left of the spectrum. He claims that when he was first a bishop he was accused of being too conservative (of course any priest refusing to wear a clown suit for Mass was deemed a conservative at that time). He certainly does feel free to change things from Rome to fit his diocese. For example, he has allowed priests in the diocese to use glass vessels for the Precious Blood at Mass, even though Redemptionis sacramentum says otherwise. The clock continues to tick….

  86. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fugue:

    In regard to the post hoc ergro propter hoc fallacy, and ‘chicken or egg’, I think that we need to distinguish between (1) root causes and (2) primary causes (which need not be root causes), (3) contributing causes and (4) ‘triggers’. You may remember the elaborate distinctions in that famour English History by Lawrence Stone, The Causes of the English Revolution, I think, was the title.

    I think that the reforms in the Church, especially the loss of Latin, were a trigger for the decline. They were the straw, and more than a straw, that broke the camel’s back, as it were. The primary cause was the sexual and social revolution of the 1960s. A root cause was the advent of that aural trash, rock noise, which has probably done more than any one factor to undermine faith and truth. The Aquarian Revolution was, in turn, a result of the evil of democracy and the two world wars. Essentially, the hippies were the children of the surviving veterans and were raised with a different attitude about Christian virtue and culture, one imbued by a different spirit, the spirit opposed so valiantly by Pope St. Pius X.

    However, if we wish to discuss root causes, I submit that we must go back through history. My own view is that it all started in 1348 and that the Black Death is the root cause of all our woes. I am not the only one who thinks so. Of course, the Plague came at the right time, too. But the disfavourable conditions of the early fourteenth century would have had little effect had the Plague not followed it. No, the plague was the root cause that launched our anti-God culture.

    Fr. Z, I am sure, will not let me explain this thesis here. This blog is not for it. So I shall skip that. It led, however, to a loss of faith (particularly because its localised visitations every decade until 1490 mainly wiped out the children, who had no immunity). What followed this was Humanism, the Renaissance Cult of Man replacing the Cult of God, the Reformation, a theologically bankrupt Protestant Pietism, eighteenth century Deism, nineteenth century liberalism, the error of democracy, that very worst form of government, and the disaster that was the Twentieth Century.

    What is needed is a return to a theocentric Catholic culture under a limited constitutional monarchy, with a self-perpetuating judiciary, a much smaller role for government in society, and no elected officials. Secularism is a deliverance that does not deliver.


    P.S. I am not raising my own opinions here for the purpose of debate. I am only airing the question of root causes.

  87. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:


    We are told to ‘think before posting’. I do not regret my closing remarks in the last message to this blog. On the other hand, I wish to clarify that one need not agree with my political solution to the problem in order to agree with me about its origins. There are many good faithful who believe in democracy and republics and will disagree with some of my solutions. Nevertheless, they may still agree with what I have to say about the root causes of our anthropocentric culture.

    I think that most of us will agree that, ultimately, the solution is to find a way to restore a theocentric Catholic culture. We need to see the Mass and even the Church as parts of a larger whole, which is a created order that extends beyond this world while also including all of it. God must be the centre of His own creation and we need to recognise this or else happiness will elude us. Ideally, this recognition must be universal, which means that it must include our polity, whatever form that may take.


  88. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Second Addendum

    There is one editorial error in my penultimate posting. I labelled rock noise as a root cause. I had meant to call it a contributing cause. it is definitely not a root cause.


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