Pres. of Bps. Conference in Philippines on Summorum Pontificum

The president of the bishops’ conference of the Philippines issued a statement about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

My emphases and comments.


 We fully welcome with respect and appreciation the recent Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI on the "Tridentine" Mass. It clarifies for us the status of the Tridentine Mass in the Latin Language.  [Okay… I would like more precise language, but it gets the point across and it is warm.]

 In accordance with the Apostolic Letter ("Motu proprio") entitled "Summorum Pontificum" of Pope Benedict XVI, the celebration of the so-called Tridentine Mass, which is in the Latin language, [Again… so many people focus on the language of Mass.  I don’t think the language is the most important dimension, but… it is one of the most obvious differences between the older form and the way Mass is celebrated far and wide.] as approved by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962 continues to be fully permissible as an extraordinary form of the Mass. The Tridentine Mass was never forbidden or abrogated.

 The so-called "New Mass" which was introduced after the Second Vatican Council and approved by Pope Paul VI in 1970 has become more popular among the people because it allowed the use of some approved adaptations, including the use of the popular languages and dialects. [This seems to be this fellows real point of interest.] It became the ordinary form of the Mass, widely celebrated in the parish churches.

 When may the Tridentine (Latin) Mass be celebrated? According to the letter of Pope Benedict XVI, it may be celebrated by catholic priests of the Latin Rite: a) in private masses, b) in conventual or community mass in accordance with the specific statutes of the Congregation, c) in parishes upon request of the faithful and under the guidance of the bishop [This is not really accurate, is it.  The PASTOR is the one who needs to regulate things.  The Bishop has an role of helper when reasonable expectations can’t be met.] (in accordance with Canon 392). In such Masses, however, the readings may be given in the vernacular. [Again, this is this bishop’s main focus, it seems.]

 This permission given by Pope Benedict XVI means that the Mass in Latin and in accordance with the formula of the Council of Trent, hence Tridentine, with the celebrant’s back to the faithful [We are now even more heavily into the incidentals, but without question he is right: it cannot be forbidden.  I like the fact that he said it so clearly.  However, this also applies to the newer Mass!  So does Latin!] may be celebrated, as it was never forbidden or abrogated. For new priests, this will require formation in the Latin Mass.  [See what I mean?]

 Now, we are instructed that in the liturgy of the Mass, there is the ordinary form which is that approved by Pope Paul VI in 1970 after the Vatican II; and there is the extraordinary form – the Tridentine (Latin) Mass which is that approved by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. The two forms will have their way of leading the faithful to the true worship of God in prayer and liturgy; and may even be a factor for unity in the Church. 

+Angel N. Lagdameo
Archbishop of Jaro
President, CBCP
JULY 9, 2007

Okay… this was pretty good, though somewhat limited in perspective.  I am sure the bishop is writing with knowledge of the needs of the people in that region. 

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TerryC says:

    We in the west have a long tradition of Latin formation in our educational system. Surly we have lost ground in the last forty years, but you can still find modern works, like Harry Potter, published in Latin in sufficient quantity to be price comparatively to English or Spanish editions.
    I suspect that this is not the case in Philippines, where Latin, even in the past, was not widely taught (except perhaps in Catholic schools.)
    In an aside how many of the bishops (in both the Philippines and the Americas) themselves have sufficient knowledge of Latin to feel comfortable in the language?

  2. David M.O'Rourke says:

    The archbishop says: “The so-called “New Mass” which was introduced after the Second Vatican Council and approved by Pope Paul VI in 1970 has become more popular among the people because it allowed the use of some approved adaptations, including the use of the popular languages and dialects”.

    Really? I can’t speak to the record in the Philippines but where I live I’m not sure that the NO ever really became “popular” and the main reason people adapted to it was because for fouty years they had virtually no choice.

  3. Rome Has Spoken says:

    I’m amazed that the so-called Fr Z still has the time to critique statements
    coming from an Archbishop of a country of more than 60 M Catholics.
    Why didn’t he just send this directly to the Archbishop? Or maybe he just
    would like the cyber people to know that he’s more “knowledgeable” than the
    Archbishop. I guess, people in the west will never stop thinking that “they”
    are always “more” learned than the “orientals”.

  4. JFelixBV says:


    I don´t know if this is off – tangent, but an interesting discussion (between two of my countrymen) took place at The New Liturgical Movement last May on the liturgical state of affairs here in the Philippines.

    Rome Has Spoken,


  5. Dennis Maturan says:

    That is the problem here in the Philippines, when I started in late 1987 (whoa!
    I was just 21 years old then!)the Latin Mass Society of the Philippines which is now the Ecclessia Dei Society of St. Joseph, we were not even advocating the Traditional Mass for theological reasones
    any theological nor linguistic reasons but for a legitimate, valid and beautiful
    liturgical western tradition and treasure to be continued for those who would like
    a dignified and solemn way of worshipping God. We were even advocating the Novu
    s Ordo mass (where the the Traditional mass is not possibly available), to celebrate it w
    with dignity and solemnity whether in Latin or the vernacular (since Latin is still the official language of the Church. After enocuntering problems with both trads and non-trads, we weer given the indult for the Traditional Mass where we had it celebrated every Sunday and some occassions for also for the last 20 years. It is a sad fact a lot of Catholics confuse the Mass itself with its rites and rite with the language. Latin is not the issue but the right to celebrate the Roman Rite according to the Old dispensation side by side with the New edxpression of the
    same rite. Remembering the late Cardinal Jaime L. Sin, the former Archbishop of Manila, there is no problem with celebrating the Holy Mass in Latin with Gregorian Chants since he loves it and may be celebrated anytime in the New rite. However, celebrating it in the Old rite is a
    different issue. As for myself, a Traditiona Mass celebrated without prepation is a disastrer, no different from an abused Novus Ordo Mass like what the CBCP President Archbishop Lagdameo just did last Sept. 11. What a disaster and a turn off for those not familiar with the old rite.

  6. Dennis Maturan says:

    A public message from my friend Carlos Palad who was present and served the Traditional Mass of Archbisop Lagdameo, President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

    Dear All,

    I have the great joy of announcing to you that His Excellency,
    Archbishop Angel Lagdameo D.D., Archbishop of Jaro and currently President of
    the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), celebrated a
    Missa Cantata according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
    last September 11, 2007, 7:00 PM (Manila time) at the Carmelite Monastery
    Church in Lipa City, Province of Batangas (located south of Manila).

    Due to various contingencies, emergencies and events, the Archbishop
    was not assisted by any clergy, and had only two lay servers who had to
    substitute at the very last minute. These two lay servers were myself as
    “First Server” and Dr. Jose Alcasid of “Philippine Crusade for the
    Defense of Christian Civilization” as “Second Server”

    I had gone to Lipa expecting to be merely consulted a bit about the
    rubrics and about setting up the altar properly; otherwise I had expected
    to be simply part of the congregation enjoying this historic moment.
    Suddenly, I was told to serve, barely five minutes before the Mass was to
    start, because the priest (the “Chaplain” in liturgical parlance) who
    was originally supposed to serve the Archbishop’s Mass backed out at
    that moment.

    The Mass itself has been agreed upon only last week, and the schedule
    was finalized only the day before the Mass itself was about to be
    celebrated. One has to keep in mind that, uhm, the Extraordinary Form of the
    Roman Rite in the Philippines continues to face “Extraordinary”
    obstacles indeed! However, there was no question of cancelling the Mass, once
    the Archbishop had given his consent last week to celebrate it. This
    would be our moment of triumph practically on the eve of Summorum

    There was no cantor to chant the propers. However, some ten ladies
    formed an impromptu schola and very capably sang the Ordinary of the Mass.
    It was truly a “Mass at the frontlines!”

    The Archbishop was ordained a priest in December 1964, and had
    celebrated according to the 1962 Missal in his first five months as a priest.
    After that, he adopted the vernacular liturgy along with almost everyone
    else. However, he retained his knowledge and understanding of Latin
    and, as Archbishop of Jaro from 2000 to the present he has been one of
    the few Filipino bishops who have shown sympathy and understanding for
    the aspirations of the faithful who love the Traditional Roman Rite. As
    bishop, he has celebrated the TLM twice before: once each in the years
    2000 and 2001.The current Mass is his first TLM as President of the

    Nevertheless, the Archbishop’s grasp of the rubrics was very rusty. The
    TLM Community in Jaro had not had the time to the Mass with the
    Archbishop. And so, I had to literally coach the Archbishop every step, every
    prayer along the way. Instead of being able to just kneel at a
    distance, I had to kneel leaning against the front of the altar, whispering to
    the Archbishop every now and then. Of course, many mistakes were
    inevitably made: it is hard to be an Archbishop’s server while also training
    him to celebrate the Mass right there at the altar! The worst moment
    was when I found out, towards Communion time, that I had been so
    absorbed in coaching the Archbishop through the complicated actions and
    rubrics of the Tridentine Offertory, Preface and Canon that I had forgotten
    to take the ciborium with the hosts for the faithful to the altar!
    Fortunately, a Carmelite nun was present, and she immediately took
    consecrated hosts from the tabernacle.

    Many of the people in attendace were simply surprised and,
    understandably, didn’t know what they had stumbled upon. As server, I could see
    some of the faces of the people. Oh my. :-D

    Come communion time, they lined up to receive standing up, and many of
    them in the hand! I initially tried to tell people coming up to receive
    communion to please kneel and receive on the tongue; but when I
    noticed that they weren’t listening, I gave up.

    Towards the end, when I opened the page of the missal to the Last
    Gospel, the Archbishop told me that he didn’t want to recite it anymore. So
    we had to end the Mass rather abruptly. After the Mass, he commented
    that the Traditional Mass is too long! (We had taken some 45 minutes for
    the whole Missa Cantata, because there was no homily. In contrast, a
    weekday Novus Ordo lasts 15-25 minutes without homily.) He also made it
    clear over dinner that he didn’t like the Traditional Mass. However, he
    also knew the Pope’s will regarding to the Traditional Mass; perhaps
    that is the reason he did not refuse the request to celebrate the Mass.
    For this, we are grateful. Very grateful! How can Fr. Chupungco continue
    to go around telling people that the TLM is bad and should not be
    celebrated when the President of the CBCP has celebrated it?

  7. Dennis Maturan says:

    Please permit me to make the following announcement.

    The Traditional Latin Mass communities in the Philippines will be
    marking the implementation of Summorum Pontificum beginning September 14,
    2007 with the following celebrations:


    At the Lord of Divine Mercy Parish, Madasalin cor. Maamo Sts,. Sikatuna
    Village, Quezon City, Metropolitan Manila, Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo,
    long-time chaplain of the Cubao Diocese’s Traditional Latin Mass
    Community, will be offering the following Traditional Latin Masses:

    September 13, 2007, Thursday, 3:00 PM — Low Mass
    September 14, 2007, Friday, 6:00 PM — Missa Cantata for the Feast of
    the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
    September 15, 2007, Saturday, 3:00 PM — Low Mass for the Feast of The
    Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    September 16, 2007, Sunday, 1:30 PM — Missa Cantata

    In addition, on September 16, 2007, Sunday, about 3:30 PM, there will
    be a Rosary Procession in Honor of the Mater Dolorosa


    At the Nuestra Senora Dela Candelaria Metropolitan Cathedral of Jaro,
    Iloilo (located in the Island of Panay, one of the Visayas Islands
    located in the middle of the Philippines), Fr. Melvin Castro, Chancellor of
    the Diocese of Tarlac, will celebrate a Traditional Latin Missa Cantata
    at the main altar of the Cathedral on September 14, Friday, 6:00 PM.

    All are welcome to attend.

    The Cubao and Jaro Masses on September 14, 2007 will be both held at
    6:00 PM. There is a symbolic significance to this. In the Philippines,
    daily mass-going is alive and well, and daily masses are often scheduled
    around 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The 6:00 (or 6:30) PM mass often attracts
    larger crowds than the morning mass, because it is the mass that is most
    convenient for working people. Celebrating the TLM on such an hour,
    therefore, signifies the full integration of this rite of the Mass into
    the liturgical life of the churches concerned. It also allows the TLM to
    be introduced to more people who, perhaps, have never seen it before.

  8. anto says:

    The CBCP is much more interested in politics than the Tridentine Mass. The Filipinos need to understan the real meaning and essence of the sacrifice of the mass and not comfort of the priest or the people. The Holy Mass is not for the people. Many Filipino priests nowadays are contented with a 30- 60 minute mass. God is worth more than an hour of prayer.. I think the CBCP is more supportive of radical change of liturgy like entertaining liturgy than the ancient solemn rite. What is happening to the light of asia with regards to Christianity. Are we developing another luther or calvin?

  9. Dennis Maturan says:

    Fr. Jojo Zerrudo launched last Friday (Sept. 14) a Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at the Divine Mercy Parish in Sikatuna, Q.C., followed by another Missa Cantata in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, Saturday Septmeber 15. I his sermons, he emphazised the importance of the Cross and the Orientation during the Holy Mass as facing towards the Cross of Christ – thew Sacrifice of Calvary,as the true essence of the Mass. He criticized some of the comtemporary priests who turn the Mass into a man-centered entertainment, losing the sense of what is sacred. He also stressed the importance of Mary, the Stabat Mater as the true model of active participation in Holy Mass, which means going beyond external participation through interior participation, standing in front of the unbloody Sacrifice of Calvary, becoming aware of the moment of redemption and start of man’s salvation through the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Sunday’s Mass was followed by a sole,n procession in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows.
    At the Philippine National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City, Msgr. moises Andrade, rector and parish priest launched his own observance of Pope Benedict Motu Propprio by celebrating a Missa Cantata at 8pm which will be done every Sunday at the same time.

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