Summorum Pontificum translation issue: exsistit

There is a controvertial point that arose in another entry about a work in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  The Latin of Art. 5, § 1 says:

In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat.

This is how I translated it:


In parishes, where there is continuously present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962.


Actually there are a lot of controversial words here…. coetus… adhaerentium… continenter. Another word to examine is exsistit from existo.

Some people have been saying the force of exsistit is that a group of people (leave aside the size) must have already been in a parish for a while.

The problem with this position is that exsistit is present (contemporary) tense and thus refers to right now or the future (because the document will also be read in the future). 

But the real fun comes when you consider that, according to the mighty The Lewis & Short Latin Dictionary exsisto only in its secondary meaning means "to be visible or manifest in any manner, to exist, to be".

In its first, or primary meaning exsisto means, generally, "to step out or forth, to come forth, emerge, appear", and in greater precision, "with the accessory notion of originating, to spring, proceed, arise, become".

So, the Latin of article 5, § 1 says equally well:

In parishes, where in a continuous way a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition manifests itself, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962.

The force of this is that the provisions of this article of the Motu Proprio apply to what the priest ought to do even when a new group forms, now or in the future.  Exsistit indicates its existence now, its continued existence in the future, and its new existence in the future. 

What it does NOT refer to is any need that it existed in the past.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. John says:

    Will the Ecclesia Dei commission clarify these issues, at least where bishops are using linguistic technicalities to evade the clear intent of the legislator in Summorum Pontificum?

  2. Bevis says:

    Presumably it is about having some people there to make a request, rather than a priest simply forcing it on people: is this to much of plain man’s thinking?

  3. Could I thank Father Z for this new post.

    I was struck by the perceptive comment by RBrown on a previous post about the dynamism of the word “existere”.
    Because of what he said, I have re-read the whole of Summorum Pontificum in its orginal Latin version.

    I totally agree that in this context, “existere” should not be read to mean no more than “to exist”.
    This would be a limited and restricted use of “existere” in a document which is the opposite of restrictive.

    Quite apart from the use of the present tense “exisitit”, which decribes the situation now, in the present, and does not refer to the situation in past history, clearly, “existere” also has the meaning ” to appear, come forth, emerge”.

    It is clear (to me) that a Pastor may find himself having to respond to a request for the former use of Mass from :
    EITHER : a goup of faithful who have existed previously, and who now still exist.
    OR : a group of faithful who have recently emerged, are emerging, will emerge.
    (In other words, young people, with no previous record of attachment to the older form who are now expressing genuine interest in the old form, and are requesting it.)

    It is necessary, therefore, for the pastor to respond to requests from both these groups.

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    In its first, or primary meaning exsisto means, generally, “to step out or forth, to come forth, emerge, appear“, and in greater precision, “with the accessory notion of originating, to spring, proceed, arise, become“.

    Just to put it in boldface italics for any language-challenged liturgy professors and the like who might be lurking. In short, if a group of faithful desiring the TLM on a continuing basis were to suddenly emerge tomorrow in a parish, then that would suffice.

  5. Pleased As Punch says:

    Vivat philologia!

    Fr. Z’s reliance upon Lewis & Short is well placed! Other authorities only confirm this.

    The *Oxford Latin Dictionary*, the most authoritative dictionary in English on classical Latin (admittedly not Christian Latin), does not even list “to exist” as one of the meanings of ex(s)isto! Definition 1:

    To come into view or sim., appear. (b) to rise from the dead [!]…

    Definition 2:

    To come forward, present oneself (in some capacity) [!]…

    On the Christian Latin side, Leo F. Stelten’s recent *Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin* does the same as the OLD! It doesn’t even list “to exist” as one of the definitions of ex(s)isto. Its definitions:

    come forth, appear, emerge, proceed, arise, become

    From these two sources, at any rate, it would appear that translating exsistit as either “exists” or “there exists” is simply wrong-headed! (Parenthetically, the overwhelming dissemination of this bad translation is itself a commentary on how far the knowledge of Latin has declined in the Roman Rite. Sadly pathetic.)

    Fr. Z, start cranking the propaganda machine! Not only is “stably” bad for continenter, but “exists” is bad for exsistit!

    Vivat philologia!

  6. BK says:

    Comment by Henry Edwards: “Just to put it in boldface italics for any language-challenged liturgy professors and the like who might be lurking. In short, if a group of faithful desiring the TLM on a continuing basis were to suddenly emerge tomorrow in a parish, then that would suffice.”

    Ecclesia Dei must come forward with a definitive translation, and specifically addresses this issue, refuting the restrictive spin being published by liturgists, bishops and bishops’ conferences the world over.

    Until that happens, the almost universal restrictive spin is a fait accompli and will become set in stone, effectively neutering Summorum Pontificum and resetting the status quo back to the 1988 indult.

  7. Athanasius says:

    Could this be another liberal trojan horse like ambiguity in Vatican II? Could the document have been written so it could be translated vaguely, like Dei Verbum 11, and then re-interpreted by hostile Bishops after the promulgation? I’m seeing a lot of canards used by Bishops based on poor translation.

  8. Dan O says:

    Could this be another liberal trojan horse like ambiguity in Vatican II? Comment by Athanasius

    Oh yes, that tricky Pope Benedict is a real liberal wolf in sheep’s clothing. Of course, he deliberately wrote it vaguely so that liberal bishops could give hostile interpretations. Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds?

    Dan O

  9. Dustin says:

    For Fr. Zuhlsdorf, Athanasius, BK, John and Henry Edwards:

    Conspiracies are amusing, but once they get carried too far I begin to get irritated. It is a very simple fact that most of us in the Western church, lay and cleric alike, are unlettered in Latin. Parsing the original is of little avail to us until the relevant authority in Rome proceeds with an official translation to clarify these confusions, because that’s what they are. Confusions. When we don’t speak Latin, and the only thing we have to go on is an admittedly poor and unofficial English translation, how can we possibly be blamed for taking the English at its literal word where it says “stable group?” Getting irritated at people who take this at face value is quite pointless, and fails to take into account the linguistic reality here on the ground, in the English-speaking church. The onus is on the Vatican to clarify this. Until then, any resulting confusion is wholly the fault of Rome’s inaction.

    And to be clear, when I mention conspiracy theories, I refer here to the idea of intentional mistranslation, especially the laughable idea put forward by Athanasius.

  10. Henry Edwards says:

    I wonder whether anyone thinks these false translations stem solely from honest ignorance. Or whether there might be something else at play here?

  11. John says:

    It’s hardly a conspiracy theory to suggest that Ecclesia Dei needs to clarify certain points and that some, not all, bishops are clearly trying to restrict the TLM. I’m referring to those who talk about permissions or “certifications” even after Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos said permission isn’t needed.

  12. This is a very useful speculation by Athanasius.
    It makes me wonder if authorised (and, of course, accurate) translations in the major languages should not have been issued by Rome simultaneously with the publication of Summorum Pontificum in Latin so as to avoid ambiguity.

    However, there are three issues here, not one issue :
    Translation : What does the Motu Proprio actually say ? (Sorry, Father Z) )
    (i.e. What is the most accurate translation of the Latin text ?)
    Interpretation : What does the Motu Proprio really mean ?
    (i.e. Does it prescribe, restrict,abrogate, derogate, whatever, and
    do people understand what these terms mean, anyway ?)
    Application : How best do put into effect the Motu Proprio pastorally.)
    (i.e. Carry out the Pope’s wishes loyally, and to the best of one’s
    ability; ignore it; disobey it; make up one’s own rules, etc.)

    Father’s post is about translation, and what controversy there can be over translating the Latin text.
    But there is translation, interpretation and application.
    I honestly don’t see how any one of these three issues can be discussed without reference to the other two.

    The comment by Athanasius and the documents of Vatican II reminds us how you can subvert a document by misinterpretation and misapplication.
    The history of the 1970 Missal shows what you can do with a sloppy and inaccurate translation, and taking it from there.

    Could all this happen again with Summorum Pontificum ?
    Possibly. I don’t know.
    I don’t think so.
    I hope not.

    The world (and internet technology) has moved on since 1963.
    We all know more than we used to about who said what to whom, what is going on and where, and what is going wrong and why.

    I don’t think it’s so easy anymore to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes.

    Meanwhile, you can’t to do much better than to read the original document and be sure to use a reliable translation.

    The rest is “sensus fidei” and common sense.

    And prayer.

  13. dcs says:

    My anti-spam “word” was “buy a Lewis and Short.” Anyway:

    The way that some liturgists, bishops, and bishops’ conferences are interpreting Summorum Pontificum, you would think that there was no reason for the Pope to issue it at all. Surely it was not the Pope’s intention to make a purely symbolic gesture, which would be disappointing to traditionalists and emboldening to progressives. Common sense then should tell us that things have changed, even without appealing to the Latin.

    I still hope and pray that an Apostolic Administration is in the cards. Summorum Pontificum goes a long way to clarifying the rights of priests; now we need something to protect the rights of the faithful.

  14. Kirk Rich says:

    What would we do without our Fr. Z?

  15. Andrew says:


    Getting irritated at people who take this at face value is quite pointless, and fails to take into account the linguistic reality here on the ground, in the English-speaking church.

    The Church’s language is Latin. That is also a linguistic reality that needs to be taken into account by the English-speaking church. Are we going to dictate to the Roman Church to abandon its proper language so that we can impose on her our own language? What’s next? Are we ready to suggest that the Papacy be moved to New York? Or would Hong Kong be better?

  16. Dionysius Harriedopolis says:

    The meaning of exsistit is NOT ambiguous. Even in English, if we were not so foolishly metaphysically debased in our modern culture, we’d realize that ‘to exist’ is dynamic, not static–all that “exists” does so by constantly coming forth from the Creator who sustains it.

    Anyone familiar with Latin knows that “existere” is one of those words that one has to deliberately avoid translating by reaching cheaply for the cognate English word. That the “existing” translations of Summorum pontificum make use of that English cognate only shows a weak grasp of Latin by whoever did the “unofficial” translating.

    It should not be ambiguous, but since it has become so, then the Commission Ecclesia Dei needs to step up, urgently, and issue an official and accurate translation.

  17. I would say in many parishes there has continuously been a group desiring the older form of Mass. That doesn’t mean the Mass was being said or that they were attending it. But from my own personal experience, I have desired the older form of the Mass for many, many years even though I have always gone to a “Novus Ordo” parish. I am sure there are others as well, so we would be a group who has continuously desired the older form.
    I would say that interpreting this to mean that there was already a group of faithful who are already getting the Mass is completely wrong. Summorum Pontificum was written to help those who are NOT being given access to the older form of Mass.

  18. Father Anthony Forte says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for your analysis of “continenter” and “existit”. I think that you have hit the nail on the head. But I think that we are missing a larger point. Whatever these two words mean, many are interpreting Art. 5 as stipulating the only time that a pastor can celebrate the more ancient form. Rather it is just saying that he “should willing accept their request”; that he should be favorable to them and not show them the door. The most important clause is in Art. 1 : “It is, therefore permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promugated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and NEVER ABROGATED.” Everything in SP is written in favor of the more ancient use. The only restrictive clause is in Art. 2 concerning the Easter Triduum which merely repeats the present prohibition of private Masses no matter which form is used. In other words, since the Mass was never abrogated there is no need for a pastor to wait for a request any group.

  19. Susan says:

    While I love a good conspiracy, it’s a pretty sound tactic for military commanders to allow their less loyal subordinates enough rope to hang themselves when vagaries of interpretation come up. When you’re trying to see who’s playing golf with you, the skeet shooters kind of self-identify.

  20. I would say a translation to be considered would be:

    “In parishes, where should there exist a group of the faithful continually attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962.

    Certainly the point is that if there exists a group that wishes to have the Mass on a permanent basis, it should be provided if possible. It might be that those who just want it as a one time deal, here and there, every once in a while, are not to be considered (or at least it is not an obligation to provide the older form for them).

    My question would be, what did the Pope initially write this in? German, Latin, Italian (or something else)? And what does that original document say? If he didn’t write it in Latin originally, then we are not only at the mercy of those who translate the document into the vernacular from the Latin, but also those who translate the document from the Pope’s original letter into Latin.

  21. Father Arsenius says:

    I concur with Father Forte.

    Father Zuhlsdorf, your analysis is very useful and — in my case — very timely: the clergy of our diocese meet in annual assembly next week, and the matter of the motu proprio is sure to be a topic of discussion, if only in the corridors and at meals.

    The “official” reading “from the top” (here) is along the lines of the mistranslation of the phrase “ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit”: that there must already have been such a group in existence. Your analysis goes a long way to clarify the matter. Thanks!

  22. George says:

    For what it’s worth, my Cassell’s Latin dictionary, vintage 1956, states ff: exsisto (existo)
    I) to arise, come forth, appear.
    II) to spring, arise, come into

  23. Dustin says:

    Andrew knows quite clearly what I meant by the linguistic reality here in the States, across the pond and elsewhere in the Anglosphere. I do not refer to a non-existent ideal in which all of us are suddenly experts in Church Latin, spouting various articles of the Summa from memory. Yes, the language of the Latin Rite is Latin, but these documents from the Vatican chancery must also be released in faithful translation in the meanwhile, before that magical day when we are all multilingual. This has not been done. My sole point: Rome has been negligent and irresponsible in leaving these things open to misinterpretation. What are those of us unlettered ones to do? Spend a few years learning Latin until we’re fluent, and only then be able to put these things into force? (As Andrew seems quite fond of the reductio ad absurdam fallacy, I think I’ll use one of my own.)

    Again, Andrew, I mean the Anglosphere, and the situation as it exists now. Not ideally, but actually.

  24. Dustin says:

    Moving the Vatican to Hong Kong… amusing. But get serious. And soon.

  25. David says:

    This is a seminal posting and gets finally to the heart of the matter. We have already seen that many are interpreting 5.1 with a Catch 22: need to have a ‘stable group’ desiring the TLM, but since there hasn’t been a TLM, there cannot by definition be a ‘stable group’ around to want it! This translation though dispels that line of reasoning and makes perfect sense: both for the meaning of SP and linguistically. After all, this document is a living document and in 20 30 40 years, it still will be operative. This logical translation allows for groups (the coetus) to come into existence and request the TLM. Of course this is what the Holy Father intended.
    Thank you, Father, and kudos for this one. This is very very important.

  26. Dustin says:

    Yes, David, in all the snippiness one would certainly be remiss if Father Zuhlsdorf were not to be thanked for his absolutely invaluable contributions to this debate.

    Father: Thank you sir, and may God bless your efforts here.

  27. Actually I may need to correct my thinking in my post above. My first thoughts that there needs to be a group wanting the Mass on a permanent basis is probably incorrect.
    I would agree with Fr. Z’s translation that it is for groups who continue to ask for the old form of the Mass, since Summorum Pontificum is trying to give greater access to the older form of Mass.

  28. Mark says:

    The difficulty with translation is not what the dictionary meaning says per se. In their meaning, words have many shades of color – some of which may not exist in any particular dictionary, nor in our understanding. Further, we need to be careful not to only see the meaning that supports our colored view with respect to what others write or say. What is important and necessary is that we understand the “intent” of the author – this is what matters most.

    Thus, we must ask for clarity from the author himself to remove any ambiguity that may exist – respondeat superior (let the superior respond).

    For those of you who enjoy, and are fond of the study of the Latin language, I thought I would share with you the following from Roy J. Defarrari’s “A Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas” :

    Existo, (-ere), (-stiti), (-stitum), 3, v. n., to be, exist, i.e., to be actual, to be outside of one’s causes, to be in a higher state than potentiality, Aristotelian ??? ????? (Metaph. XII. 8. 1065. a 24), a synonym of esse actuale, as opposed both to non-esse and esse potentiale. Subsistence, with which existence might be confused, is quite another concept. Subsistence is existence of itself, not in some subject; it is the abstract quality which is peculiar to substance precisely as a distinct accident. Accidents have existence but not subsistence, because they exist by reason of the substance in which they inhere, not in themselves. Existence, then, is a wider concept than subsistence, and is the actualization of any potency to be. Deus non sic dicitur non-existens, quasi nullo modo sit existens, sed quia est supra omne existens, inquantum est suum esse, PP. Q. 12. Art. 1 ad 3; ut per non-existentia intellegamus non ea simpliciter, quae penitus non sunt, sed ea quae sint in pontentia et non in actu, PP. Q. 5. Art. 2 ad 2; non autem sicut Columba et ignis ad haec tantum modo significanda repente extiterunt, PP. Q. 43. Art. 7 ad 2; qui erant indocti existentium, id est, circa entia naturalia et sensibilia, 1 Gener. 3 h. Cf. SS. Q. 132. Art. 5; SS. Q. 173. Art. 1. SS. Q. 189. Art. 5; PT. Q. 5. Art. 1; PT. 75. Art. 2; et passim. The relationship between existere and essential is the same as that between esse and essentia. Cf. essential.

    In Christo fratrem tuus,


  29. Mark says:

    The “??? ?????” was from Aristotle’s Greek… The preview showed it where the post does not. Hmmmm…

  30. Philologus says:

    Dear Mark,

    In your complimentary close, do you not mean “In Christo *frater* tuus”?


  31. Mark: I thought I would share with you the following from Roy J. Defarrari’s “A Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas”

    This isn’t St. Thomas’s Latin we are talking about.

  32. Tim Ferguson says:

    two points – one as a response to Dustin. The onus of understanding is not on the part of the Vatican to provide us with accurate translations (though that would be nice), since Latin is the official language of the Church and her laws. Were the Vatican to pour themselves wholesale into translations, it would do little else (translate into how many languages? just five or six? how about those in the Church who only understand Finnish? or Urdu? or Romansh?). No, the onus is upon us to understand the Latin of the Church’s law, or to rely on faithful translators.

    secondly – continenter. It’s interesting to note that the only place this word shows up in the Latin Code of Canon Law is canon 1682, paragraph 2, wherein it is decreed that an affirmative sentence in the First Court (a “yes” to an annulment, if you will) is to be then transferred to a Second Court. That second Court is given two options, the second of which is to investigate the matter further, the first of which is “decisionem continenter confirmet” – to confirm the decision without pause (or speedily, or swiftly, wholly, or without delay).

    Here is an entirely different, but still accurate, translation of “continenter,” but relevant to the current discussion. Here “continenter” refers to a measure of time and efficiency. In Summorum pontificum, it would seem to refer not to a measure of time and longevity (as would, say, stabiliter) but a measure of completeness – the group requesting the extraordinary form should be a group with certain defineable parameters.

    Perhaps trying to understand what the opposite of a group “continenter existit” would be: I think a group which did not “continenter existit” would be something like the ubiquitous “some people.” As in, “some people in the parish feel Mass should be more exciting/solemn/happy-clappy/formal.” The group requesting the pastor offer the TLM should be actually a group – even if the group is something without a charter and rules of order: the young people at the 8:30 Mass; the choir; the old folks who pray the rosary on Thursdays; the homeschoolers. All these groups “continenter existit” – exist wholly, exist continuously.

    The fourth of my two points (okay, I feel like the Spanish Inquisition now) is that this is indeed a favorable law, thus subject to a broad interpretation. The realityis, in an appropriate understanding of Roman Law, the burden of proof for a restriction on the application of this law, is on the one who wishes to restrict. If Fr. Smith thinks the five people, who have never met each other, who separately ask him if they could have the TLM at St. Sexburga-on-the-Lake and Fr. Smith thinks that’s a “coetus continenter existit” and starts offering the TLM, it would be up to Mildred Legwarmer, the parish liturgist, who disagrees, to prove to the Bishop and/or the Ecclesia Dei commission that this group did not, in fact “continenter existit”

  33. Mark says:

    Philologus: No, fratrem is in the accusative (object) in my closing above.

    I could have written Ego sum in Christo Fratrem tuus. I am in Christ your brother. I purposely left out the nominative (subject). Perhaps I should have written: Fratrem tuus in Christo sum.

    Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

    Ex anima,


  34. Philologus says:

    Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your response. Still: Why would *fratrem* be correct?
    Is there a special “epistolary accusative” or some such thing? As there
    is no transitive verb in your complimentary close that requires an
    accusative object, saying “In Christo fratrem tuus” must be wrong.
    Indeed, employing the nominative *tuus* to modify the accusative *fratrem*
    violates the rule that all modifiers agree with their modificanda in
    gender, number, and case. *Sum*, by the way, is the copula, the linking verb,
    and as such links two items (express or implied) that must both be in the
    nominative case. (Consider, e.g., “Tu es Petrus,” or “Ego sum via, veritas,
    et vita.”)

    Ex animo,

  35. Mark: I could have written Ego sum in Christo Fratrem tuus. I am in Christ your brother.

    Let’s make this easy for others reading. First, “brother” and “your” have to agree. Second, since you are using Ego = “your brother”, they have to agree too. You have to write “Ego sum frater tuus.” Everything nice and nominative and masculine.

    However, if you want to say “Ego confiteor me fratrem tuum esse in Christo” that would work just fine. In that case you can an accusative and infinitive construction.

  36. Fr. Wright: Could all this happen again with Summorum Pontificum ?
    Possibly. I don’t know.
    I don’t think so.
    I hope not.

    Over my cold, dead body.

    I will drag into the sunlight anyone I think purposely distorts the meaning of the Motu Proprio in order to restrict people’s rights.

    And with the stats WDTPRS is getting, this blog’s attention is the last thing that sort of person would want.

  37. Mark says:

    I been using the tuus unintentionally for a while now – I guess I really meant to use tuum – yikes. Thanks for the correction.

    Cum humilitate, in Christo ego sum frater tuus!


  38. Mark says:

    tuum… see, it’s engrained… grrrr…

  39. Many thanks to Father Z for his reassuring comment.

    He’s not going to let people get away with misinterpreting the Motu Proprio.

    Given the huge public attention that Father Z’s blog enjoys, that is very reassuring indeed.
    Because, no matter how faithfully you translate Summorum Pontificum from its original Latin into a modern language, say, English, many people will still say : “Yes, I can read that in my own language easily enough, but what does the document as a whole really mean ?”

    You’re back to the question of interpretation.
    In other words, the way you translate the document depends on how you interpret it, even before you get into the nuances of what the Latin words mean, or can mean.
    In any translation, the context of a word is essential in order to bring out its true meaning in that particular case.

    There is far more to it than Latin scholarship.
    You need to understand the nature of the document. What type of document is this Motu Proprio.
    Is it legislative ? Is it restrictive ? Is it liberalising ?
    You have to answer those questions before you can begin accurately to convey its meaning.

    At almost every word and phrase, you have to decide :
    “Do I translate this in a narrow, limited , restrictive sense ?”
    Or “Do I translate it in a wider, more liberal sense ?”

    (You must not, of couse, end up with a loose or sloppy translation. That would be intellectually dishonest, and ultimately quite disastrous.)
    You don’t want to end up with a technically accurate Latin – English translation which somehow missses or misinterprets the true meaning of the original Motu Proprio.

    I would start, with the help of Pope Benedict’s accompanying letter, and with (I hope) a good knowledge of the present liturgical situation in the Church, by attempting to discern the true meaning of the Motu Proprio, before getting myself entangled in the words and phrases of the Latin text (although a debate on translation is very helpful.)

    The questions I have raised above seem to need clarification from the Pont. Ecclesia Dei Commission, although is is probably a very good thing to discuss them among ourselves.

    Only then, can a

  40. Sorry, I was cut off somehow

    I was going to conclude my cooment with :
    “Only then, will we clearly see in the light of day the opponents of this Motu Proprio, their tricks, their strategies, their lies.
    And we must be ready to answer them.

    Fight the good fight, brethren !

  41. Mike in NC says:

    Thank you, Fr Forte, for your emphasis on the ‘et numquam abrogatum’.

    I used to live on New York Avenue, between 21 and McWhorter. Are you near there?

  42. Father Anthony Forte says:

    Dear Mike,

    O.L. of Mt. Carmel
    259 Oliver St.

    How did you know I was in Newark?

  43. David Kubiak says:

    These sorts of discussions, which occur around other documents as well, are very puzzling to me. The assumption is that the truth of the author’s intention lies in philological analysis of the Latin. Truth to tell, friends, no one in the Vatican — including the Pope and Fr. Foster, a remarkable man, but capable of stunning howlers — knows Latin well enough to make this kind of exercise meaningful. Much easier for the ‘Ecclesia Dei’ Commission to ask the Pope what he meant and report the answer.

  44. Mike in NC says:

    O.L. of Mt. Carmel
    259 Oliver St.

    How did you know I was in Newark?

    Father, your name sounded familiar to me, and I googled “Rev Anthony Forte” (with the double quotes), found a Rev Anthony Forte at OLC, and so I posted the comment. I moved out of the Ironbound to the suburbs going on twenty years ago, later to North Carolina, but kept in touch with some doings through friends.

  45. Andrew says:

    David Kubiak:

    Truth to tell, friends, no one in the Vatican—including the Pope and Fr. Foster, a remarkable man, but capable of stunning howlers—knows Latin well enough to make this kind of exercise meaningful.

    Granted, one might overdo the linguistic analysis approach, but – you are dead wrong about the “no one knows Latin well enough”. Some do. Not as many as one would wish, but there are some. And anyway, the intentions of Summorum Pontificum are clear: if the Pope wanted them to apply only to some previously existing nostalgic “groups” he would have stated so. As it is, one has to read such notions into the document, because it is not laid out there. The document clearly defines the older form of the Roman rite to be a legitimate option. That’s the central idea of it. The rest of it is just working out the details.

  46. Henry Edwards says:

    David Kubiak: Truth to tell, friends, no one in the Vatican … knows Latin well enough to make this kind of exercise meaningful.

    But surely you realize that an apostolic letter such as Summorum Pontificum — written by or for the hand of the Vicar of Christ — is influenced by the Holy Spirit, who knows what He means, to take full advantage of the nuance and allusion of classical Latin to say precisely what He intends. Once Father Z has used his unmatched personal expertise, admittedly far beyond that of anyone in the Vatican, with the aid of his invaluable copy of Lewis & Short, to unlock that inspired underlying meaning. Who knows, perhaps even some in those most hallowed of earthly precincts are waiting with the same bated breath as we ourselves for the authentic reading that Father Z reveals here, to us first.

  47. michigancatholic says:

    Do they actually make you show your “I have always been a trad” card? ;) I don’t think they can do that. If we all search out and flock to whatever Tridentine we can find on Sunday, what can they do? Throw us out? If we only put in the collection at a Tridentine mass, what will they do? Refuse to take it?

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