Panorama: document from Ecclesia Dei soon

The slick Italian weekly Panorama has in its current issue an article by Ignacio Ingrao: "Mass in Latin: the secrete report".

Well… as I said… it’s an Italian weekly. 

The article is too long for me to translate for you today, since I am working on my piece for the not as slick weekly The Wanderer (please subscribe).  However, here are the salient points as I see them.

"In the next few days" the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" will put out its document to clarify some points about Summorum Pontificum.

Ingrao’s article looks at the question of what a "group" might be in a parish.  "What is to be understood by a stable group of the faithful?  Is there a minimum number (of people) required?  The document will respond to these questions: without fixing criteria which are too rigid concerning a number (of people), it will offer some parameters for judging the stable nature ("stabilità") of a group of traditionalists.  And it will confirm that the new norms desired by the Pope are applicable to all the rites, including the Ambrosian."

"Also expected are indications about the liturgical calendar, since the old rite observes feasts that are suppressed or made optional in the new rite."

Clarifications will not be missing about the celebration of the Easter Triduum and among the prayers for Good Friday the invocation about the conversion of the Jews, harshly criticized by the Jewish comnunity, could be eliminated."

There is some discussion of a new parish established in Venice by Card. Scola with the aid of the FSSP… as if someone need extra reasons to visit Venice… but I digress. 

"Traditionalists are also anxiously awaiting another important event for either 2 or 9 December: Benedict XVI could celebrate a Mass in Latin according to the old rite of St. Pius V.  …  It is to be excluded that the celebration could be carried out in St. Peter’s, since the old rite forsees the presence of the pontifical court which Paul VI abolished.  It was proposed to celebrate the Mass far away from St. Peter’s, for example in the Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-walls.  In such a case, the old rite foresees a simplified papal Mass without need of the court.  Traditionalists hope that on such an occasion the Pope would announce the withdrawl of the excommunication."

Those are the most important parts of the article, though the last one swerved into fantasyland for a moment: but this is an Italian publication. 

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  1. danphunter1 says:

    Why do you think that the lifting of the excommunications is a “swerve into fantasyland”?
    If anything I would think that the part about the suppresion of the prayers of charity for the conversion of the Jews to the true Church would be the “swerve into fantasyland”
    Thank you for this article.
    God bless you.

  2. FranzJosf says:

    When Bishop Fellay was giving a talk, recently, in Argentina, he mentioned that he thought that the lifting of the decrees of excommunication would probably come soon, ‘perhaps in November.’

    Indulging in my own speculation, I don’t expect any earth-shaking changes to the ’62 Missal at this time. But who knows? Why we shouldn’t pray for the conversion of anyone to the Catholic Faith perplexes me, especially when such a supression would be in response to the feelings of some.

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  4. dcs says:

    I think this is the most interesting part of the article:

    “And it will confirm that the new norms desired by the Pope are applicable to all the rites, including the Ambrosian.”

    I hope the line about the possibility of eliminating the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews is also a swerve into fantasyland.

  5. Sid Cundiff says:

    No Catholic need extra reasons to go to Venice. Go there in the magical winter, especially Nov and Jan, when outside of the Christmas Days and the Carneval the city is so free of mobs that the place might as well be for you and the fog alone. By all means attend Sunday’s Solemn Mass and Solemn Vespers in that Paradisial mosaic jewel-box called San Marco. Ordinary Form yet very reverent, the Solemn Mass has the bells ring in campanile of the Piazza San Marco for the Sanctus and stay ringing to the Consecration. The choir sings invisible in one of the balconies. At Solemn Vespers, the recessional – to the side chapel’s icon of the Panagia Nikopoia Madonna, the city’s Palladium – is sung antiphonally using to the haunting Litaniae Lauretanae. If you don’t know this Litany, in Latin, then be sure to have the Solesmes book Cantus Selecti handy. For both there’s a sermon. Don’t know Italian? The mosaics preach just fine.

  6. danphunter1 says:

    Hi Sid,
    To bad we shall not see you at Sacred Heart, on All Saints Day.
    Our offer still stands.We look forward to seeing you on the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.
    God bless you.

  7. Kirk M. Rich says:

    Can someone please explain the papal court and why its having been abolished rules out a Pontifical High Mass at St. Peter’s?

  8. schoolman says:

    The lifting of the excommunications within the context of the Papal TLM is a real possibility. It certainly could lead to a kind of “interim” status for the SSPX and opening up new possibilities for resolving the doctrinal questions.

    This article quoting Bishop Fellay gives some added insight:


    Fellay envisages the SSPX would be an independent group within the Church, free of control by local bishops, while it continued to advocate rolling back other Vatican II reforms.

    “We would be a bit like the Chinese Patriotic Church, in the Church without really being there,” he explained. “There could be a relationship between Rome and us, but it would not yet be a juridical relationship.”

    […]Fellay said the SSPX sought an “intermediate state” in the Church so it could continue to oppose what Lefebvre called “neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies … in the Second Vatican Council and in all the reforms which issued from it.”

    “We don’t want a practical solution before these doctrinal questions are resolved,” he said. “The focus should be on these discussions.”

  9. “We would be a bit like the Chinese Patriotic Church, in the Church without really being there,” he explained. “There could be a relationship between Rome and us, but it would not yet be a juridical relationship.”

    In other words, “We get to have it both ways.” Sweet deal.

  10. Ottaviani says:

    Please tell me this won’t happen. You used to work in Ecclesia Dei and I suspect you have inside info. Please just tell me this won’t happen. Why is the Church retreating from the world? John XXIII talked of engaging the world, since then we have let the world play Caesaro-Papism with Rome. This would be yet another instance. Isn’t it enough to explain that we want the best for you Jews, and the best is Jesus Christ?!

    I doubt that this will happen – the Holy See will definitely shoot themselves in the foot if they did this and entirely throw the ball into the SSPX’s court of how Vatican II is a break from the past. Already the removal of the word “perfidious” is seen as an early ecumenical gesture to the Jews, in line up for the council.

  11. dcs: I hope the line about the possibility of eliminating the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews is also a swerve into fantasyland.

    I suspect that is one of the more realistic possibilities in the article.  

    I described the possibility of lifitng the excommunication as as fanstastical because some of the more highly placed members of the SSPX have recently been saying some rather odd things.  I am sure they are a little dsoriented after the derestriction of the older Mass.  However, if Bp. Fellay said anything even remotedly resembling what CNS provided, then it is hard to imagine a resolution to the excommunication to be so soon.

  12. schoolman says:

    I think the Holy Father may still consider lifting the excommunications in spite of the recent and ongoing rhetoric. The reason th that the illicit consecration of Bishops may likely have never happened had it not been for some prior injustice — that practically univeral repression of the TLM. That is no justification, however, it is likely a major consideration if the excommunications are to be lifted.

  13. danphunter1 says:

    If the Holy See eliminates the charitable Good Friday prayers that pray for the conversion of the Jews to the Church, as Christ commanded us all to pray for, then I suppose we should cease praying for the Jews or any other group outside the Church to convert to the only Church.
    Let us pray that these God-given prayers are not eliminated for if they are there will be even more chaos within the Church than we already have when it comes to missionary work.
    Please all, pray that our Holy Father does not allow this.
    God bless the Church

  14. Tim H says:

    I dunno about the St. Paul’s Outside the Walls thing, to hold the mass there would be practically to declare its celebration as a private mass of the Pope. What is to prevent him from celebrating at St. John Lateran as the Bishop of Rome? Or for that matter, having the Mass of Pius V at St. Peter’s but only with the formula for a regular Bishop? As supreme administrator he would be easily within his authority to do so.

  15. Michael says:

    Removing the prayers for the Jews would really show that the Catholic Church holds herself to the same standards of political correctness as the rest of the liberal world. Especially since the entire thing has blown over and hasn’t been mentioned for months. I’d rather see no document published at all than one that removes that prayer.

  16. danphunter1 says:

    Exactly. I would rather that the Summorum Pontificum “stable group”, or any other motu proprio clarification never see the light of day, if the elimination of the charitable Good Friday prayers suffer suppression as a result.

  17. Fr Ó Buaidhe says:

    If the traditional manner of a papal celebration of the TLM in St Peter’s involved the presence of the Papal Court then IMHO it is as well to avoid the issue and have it somewhere else. Of course, the Holy Father has the authority to change those customs, but perhaps now isn’t the wisest time to do so especially as there is no necessity to do so. i.e. don’t set a precedent that doesn’t have to set.

  18. Bernard says:

    Kirk M.Rich

    I wish I could explain the Papal Court and its relevance to Mass in St. Peters; I get the sense that because its all so long ago (1964?) no one really knows!

  19. Timothy James says:

    No comment about Bishops making themselves the judge of whether or not a Priest has sufficient knowledge of Latin? Hasn’t this been one of the main problems with the Bishops’ responses to SP? I hope Ecclesia Dei will bring this up so Bishops can’t continue to put restrictions on the derestriction!

  20. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    Maybe the prayer for the Jews will be modified to the current NO version, a watered down prayer that has a traditional interpretation (sound familiar?). It would be a bitter pill. That then opens the door for other PC modficiations to 1962 missal.

  21. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    If they try altering the Good Friday Prayers, I suggest that we simply read our existing vernacular translations right over the changes. Most traditionalists will not even notice, since they will simply read what is in their Altar Missals, and they can’t change those until they become too worn to use. The rest of us can simply focus on the translation for that part and ignore the Latin there.

    This issue is a tempest in a teapot. It is not the Jews who are complaining but liberals who are getting their Jewish friends to bitch on their behalf. Most rabbis want to have nothing to do with this nonsense. They know full well than any impression that they have changed OUR Mass will lead to demands that they change the Talmud. The Good Friday Service is a public one and will only be observed in any event at personal parishes (the handfull that exist) and in a few other places, such as F.S.S.P. non-parochial churches. This entire dispute was manufactured by the same liberals who are now, at the U.S.C.B.B., trying to get Rome to force Altar tomboys on us, as well as lectorettes and various other liberal sanctuary hags from NewMass: you know, those middle-aged feminists with brushcuts and huge earrings.

    In regard to the bit about a group, I will insist on reiterating that, whatever criteria Perl devises, such restrictions pertain to reasons a parish priest can refuse a Mass to faithful. It has absolutely nothing to do with the bishops! Under Articles 1 and 5 of S.P., a parish priest is allowed to proceed to schedule a public 1962 Mass in his church even if no group petitions for this; in fact, he can proceed even if no such group exists in his parish. This flows from (a) his general right to celebrate the 1962 Mass as encoded in S.P., Article 1, last para. together with (b) the celebret he has from his bishop. Note that Article 1 (unlike Article 2) has nothing to do with unscheduled Masses (formerly known as ‘private’); it is a general permission to celebrate a Mass that is public by definition (vide Canon 837.1). Ironically, that Canon comes from Vatican II liberal principles. God does indeed move in mysterious ways.

    The restrictions only mean that, should a parish priest not want to celebrate the old Mass but should a group in his parish petition him to say it, he can refuse on various grounds clarified by Perl. If those grounds do not exist, he is enjoined to grant their request. If he refuses to grant the request when those conditions are not present, the group can appeal to the local bishop for help and, finally to the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The bishop, in such cases, has the authority to appoint a priest to celebrate the Mass for that group. The bishop’s power under S.P. is entirely medicinal: he can impose a 1962 Mass on a parish where a parish priest refuses to scheduled one; but he cannot obstruct a group.

    Everyone, especially the bishops, either misunderstands these restrictions or deliberately twists them to try to find an episcopal power to say no. No such power exists in S.P. Let us insist on a ‘no’ to their no.


  22. LeonG says:

    Confirmed! this is a liberal cause: its register is characteristic. Take an insignificant minority issue, overbloat its significance over timeby mobilising the media, with or without majority public opinion, and then cry “phobia”, manipulate the legal process and then proscribe the freedom of speech in prayer through legal process. More than one rabbi has already intimated that who the Roman Catholic Church prays for in its churches is a matter for The Church itself. Would we tell Jews to rewrite or remove “offensive” items in the Talmud? Of course not, since we turn the other cheek and pray for them – to become Christians, especially during the Easter Triduum. What is uncharitable or “phobic” about that? Only a liberal would know.

  23. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to the lifting of the declarations of excommunication, I would have thought that this would not happen until after Bishop Fellay has made a public gesture in favour of reconciliation. The normal diplomatic formula would be a letter of regret as opposed to a letter of forgiveness. In other words, a letter expressing regret for the division caused by the consecrations in 1988 but not a letter admitting that this action was wrong. To date, the Society has issued no public letter in this regard. Really, after “Summorum Pontificum”, the ball is in its courts.


  24. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In response to David Alexander’s “sweet deal”:

    I think that what Bishop Fellay has in mind is a situation in which the S.S.P.X Masses would fulfil the obligation for all faithful who do not have any schismatic intent, but its confessions, marriages, and confirmations would stil be regarded as illicit.

    In this regard, Rome has already flown a ‘trial balloon’. In Protocol 1801-03, the P.C.E.D. determined that Society Masses fulfil the obligation mentioned in Canon 1248.1, provided that there be no schismatic intent. This finding was never published in the Acta and, it would seem, the Pontificial Commission “Ecclesia Dei” lacked the competence to decide the matter. However, in Moral Law, the finding would allow faithful to go to Society Masses without committing any sin. Whether they would be fulfillling the obligation objectively is questionable; but they would not sin because they would be acting on an honest belief from an organ of the legitimate authority in the Church.

    I think that all of this was done to gauge the reaction. Would Indult-supporting faithful flock to Society Masses as a result of this Protocol? They did not. I watch the figures rather closely and have many contacts throughout the world among Ecclesia-Dei supporters. My impression is that very few of them started going to Society Masses where Indult Masses were not readily available. Most Indult-supporters seem to shun Society Masses: they will go to Eastern Divine Liturgies first and even to N.O. Masses in Latin celebrated with all the smells and bells–or even very conservatie N.O. Masses in the vernacular.

    So, now that the trial balloon has been tested, the Holy See can grant a definite right to fulfil the obligation at Society Masses. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, the effect will be larger, and some faithful who now support or favour regularised 1962 Masses will turn to Society Masses when necessary. I don’t expect a landslide reaction, but this will certainly help traditionalists avoid NewMass.


  25. BK says:

    Comment by Timothy James: \”No comment about Bishops making themselves the judge of whether or not a Priest has sufficient knowledge of Latin? Hasn’t this been one of the main problems with the Bishops’ responses to SP? I hope Ecclesia Dei will bring this up so Bishops can’t continue to put restrictions on the derestriction!\”


    Fr. Z., any word on whether Cardinal Egan\’s interpretation of idoneus, i.e.,

    \”Priests who choose to celebrate Mass in the \”extraordinary\” form must have a sufficient knowledge of the Latin language to pronounce the words correctly.\”

    may prevail and be addressed in this document?

  26. Ann says:

    I would not be surprised if there is a significant correlation of the occurence of psychic pathology and a failure to adopt the reformed liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. The failure to thrive is an identifiable characteristic which may be associated with those who are demanding the return of the unreformed rite. I am pleasantly surprised that some of the Stubenville staff would direct those asking for the old latin mass to seek counseling . . . I think it’s a prudent act.

  27. Fr. Luke Winkelmann says:

    I wonder if there will be any mention of details/concessions such as whether the new lectionary could be used in the Traditional Rite, or other adjustments.

  28. Hopefully someone like our well-connected host has forwarded a list to Ecclesia Dei of everything needing clarification, with perhaps the expectation of seeing a sudden upswing in interest in recipes for preparing a dish of fresh crow.

  29. FranzJosf says:

    I think that Cardinal Castrillon is sufficiently familiar with the situation to know that things like allowing the new calendar with the old mass would be a further occasion for disunity. Same with changing the prayer for the Jews. I’m looking only for clarifications directly concerned with the Motu when there are conflicts between the old discipline and the new, but not changes to the missal itself. But I’ve been wrong before . . .

    For instance, changing the prayer for the Jews will bring up all kinds or doctrinal with the SSPX–not that they’re in charge–and others about the Church’s doctrine on salvation. (lex orandi…). I think that the ‘for many’ business sheds some light here. We’ll see.

  30. Mike B. says:

    I’m puzzled by the fact that anyone would want to remove the prayer for the conversion of the Jews. Most of the Jewish folks I know really don’t care how we pray in our churches. Yes, I understand how liberals think, but I just wonder why we shouldn’t pray for the conversion of anyone. In fact, is it not our duty to pray for as many people as possible to see the light and come to the One True Church?

    I hope (and pray) the prayer stands as it is now.



  31. Diane says:

    Hmmmmm….anti-spam word was Te Deum. Coincidental?

    Ok, my question….

    Father, do you suppose that while it would be best if the entire SSPX were to have their status regularized, perhaps the Pope is considering how individual members may come home through his actions.

    There are some within the SSPX that would probably rather go to their graves with an irregular status than to head back to Rome. In that context, even if the larger SSPX were to be regularized, there would probably always be members on the “outside”.

  32. Diane: I am not sure. Perhaps. However, if that were to happen, they would need to have statutes approved by the Holy See, an official rapport with the Pontifical Commission (which has competence), etc. What would they insist on? That they have a personal prelature like Opus Dei? The four bishops would need to be worked in somehow, given titular sees, etc. These things are just a matter of moving papers around and talking it over, but would they be willing? How does the SSPX make decisions? Do they vote in a kind of chapter? I wonder if the majority would go for such a thing.

  33. GCC Catholic says:

    Fr. Z,

    And it will confirm that the new norms desired by the Pope are applicable to all the rites, including the Ambrosian.”

    Might this also have repercussions for the Anglican Use, so far as permitting the Sarum Rite and/or the Knott Missal? This would be especially relevant if the TAC were to be normalized to the Holy See as has been discussed elsewhere.

  34. GCC: I wonder how much demand there is for the Sarum Rite. Also, I don’t thin the Anglican Use is really a Latin rite, is it? Correct me if I am wrong.

  35. GCC Catholic says:

    Fr. Z,

    So far, the Anglican Use and the Pastoral Provision are all dealt with within the Latin Rite. There has been rumor that eventually there could be a Sui Juris church created that uses the Anglican Use (as there are Sui Juris Eastern Catholic Churches), but for now it remains canonically under the Latin Rite.

    It is my understanding that Anglo Catholics (including those in the Traditional Anglican Communion) often use the Knott Missal, which is an Oxford-Movement Era translation of the Missale Romanum. The Anglican Use Latin Rite Churches currently use the Book of Divine Worship, which is a corrected form of the Book of Common Prayer to correct the parts that were contrary to Catholic doctrine.

    It may not even be a big deal. The question was mostly curiosity on my part. Thank you for answering so quickly.

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