The correction of Milan

On Sacri Palazzi of Andrea Tornielli, we find an interesting piece about the vast and important diocese of Milan and the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Here is my translation, emphases and comments.

Milan and the Motu Proprio, blame the press

During the last weeks the episcopal conference of Lombary discussed the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI on the old Mass.  It was said that, in reality (!), there are no special requests by stable groups of faithful attached to the old liturgy and certain episodes "were emphasized by the press".  It was this paper [Il Giornale] which described for the first time the attitude of the Ambrosian Diocese, substantially contrary to the papal decision, having decided not to apply it for the Ambrosian Rite, specifying, what is more, that no "stable groups" were found even in the areas subject to the Roman Rite. 

So, I feel myself a little called to account.  As always, the wrong-headed emphasis is the fault of journalists.  Those responsible for the Ambrosian Rite, on the other hand, had, in their own eyes, sincerely obeyed the Pope and feel themselves to have been misunderstood in the writings of the undersigned.  Excuse me, but to me this seems really too much!  Let me add two points: it seems clear to me that Pope Ratzinger has been deeply saddened by this decision in Milan.   Moreover, it seems to me that Cardinal Castrillòn, President of Ecclesia Dei recently had a conversation (I think by telephone) with one of those people in charge of the Ambrosian Rite, in the course of while he presented the diappointment of the Holy See for the non-application of the Motu Proprio in the Lombard capital.

A lesson to be taken around the world, not just in Milan. 

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  1. Berolinensis says:

    Tornielli had hinted before that the guidelines to be issued by Ecclesia Dei would clarify that the Motu Proprio also applies to the Ambrosian and other western rites.
    As far as this piece is concerned, I think “mi risulta per certo” is rather stronger than “it seems clear to me”. I would translate it more in the sense of “it is known to me as certain fact”. Thus: “It is known to me as certain fact that Pope Ratzinger has been deeply saddened by this decision in Milan. Moreover, it is known to me that Cardinal Castrillòn, President of Ecclesia Dei recently had a conversation …”

  2. Cherie J. Guelker says:

    It will take more than expressions of disappointment to move recalcitrant bishops to expand the use of the Traditional Latin Mass in their dioceses. Someone should be fired. It would only take one and then the others would fall into line.

  3. Jim says:

    Cherie, bishops and cardinals do not get fired. They gradually fade into their titular sees.

  4. Peter Moscatelli says:

    I live in the diocese and started a petition for the traditional Ambrosian Mass in my parish, 24 people signed in two months, and last week I went to speak to the parish priest (who said NO in terms that are good not to speak about), then I wrote to the vicar responsible for our town and to the Archbishop. If a couple dozen people request the Mass in one parish, there is interest … Please pray for this initiative!


  5. John Collorafi says:

    “I live in the diocese and started a petition for the traditional Ambrosian Mass…… Please pray for this initiative!”

    Peter, I am certainly remembering this initiative in my prayers. Let’s all pray for priests and bishops, that they return to sound liturgical tradition.

  6. JPG says:

    If these new directives will include all Western Latin Rites,is it possible that it will include the Sarum Use since this Rite has been in abeyance since the restoration of the hierarchy in England ? I have read that it was still used after the reformation by Catholics ( recusant families)
    since many priests in hiding used that Rite before Henry and Elizabeth attacked the Church.
    Or will it be allowed to be a Museum piece?
    Fairfield, CT

  7. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Fortunately, Article 5 in no way requires that a parish priest needs the petition of any group in the parish to celebrate the old Mass publicly; it merely stipulates that, where such groups lodge such requests, he must consider them. It is not restrictive; therefore, the parish priest can go it on his own with no groups. He can also call in other priests to assist him in this endeavour.

    Furthermore, under Articles 2 and 4 of S.P., a parish priest–or any priest–can celebrate unscheduled Masses either with only a server present or with some invited guests. Their number could be legion.

    Priests simply need to proceed against the will of their bishops. When the bishops try to obstruct them, let the matter be referred to a tribunal and, finally, to Rome. Let Rome decide and let Rome make findings against local bishops.

    Let priests simply proceed and refuse to stop. If their bishops should take action against them, they can then take canonical actions against the bishops.


  8. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In regard to the Sarum Use, it has lapsed by desuetude. Eventually, the last Marian priests died and were replaced by Jesuits of the mission in England. The latter used the Roman Rite simpliciter. I have heard, however, that at least one priest of the Fraternity of St. Peter celebrated a Sarum Mass. I am not sure where he derived the authority to do this. Perhaps it was permitted by special grant of a bishop. I believe that it was for an historical occasion.

    The Sarum Use might possibly return very soon by way of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which is preparing for full sacramental and corporate union with us. I’m not sure what the liturgical situation is with them. It seems to be confused. Some use the English Missal (The Traditional Latin Mass rendered in liturgical English); some, the Anglican Missal (a fusion of their English Prayerbook and the Roman Mass, including the Roman Offertory and the Roman Canon; some use their national prayerbooks. I believe that some of their ministers use the Sarum Mass, but I am not sure of its status. They have always lacked a sure authority to guide them in such matters.

    They should insist on keeping the Sarum Mass at least as an option. It has some beautiful prayers in it, all results of Gallican forms, I suppose.


  9. JPG says:

    The anti spam word is one whose sentiments I heartily endorse is Viva il Papa.
    My interest in the Sarum Rite has come from a number of recordings particularly Anonymous 4.
    The prayers and settings are quite thought provoking. The music is transendent.
    Not from Sarum but truly wonderful was from the recording On Yoolis Night is the
    hymn A Solis Ortus Cardine. I doubt I will ever here this in my local Cathedral
    let alone my Parish Church. In fact there are likely those who would do all in their power to thwart any such efforts. Some in the “spirit of VII seem to have all the liturgical sensibilityies
    of 16th century reformers except they seem to lack the reverence of the latter.
    It has been commented in many blogs that the recent reforms have been not so much
    an effort to make simpler and more accesible but simply dumb it down. How does one dumb down the Incarnation?Or the Paschal Mystery? These Mysteries have occupied the attention of believers for c both great and small for centuries. These mysteries clearly deserve the greatest
    and most beautiful expression. It would seem to me that the Rite of Sarum belongs to the
    patrimony of English speaking Catholics. I find it irritating that the only expression of this is found in heretical ecclesial communities or from NonCatholic recording groups.
    Fairfield, CT

  10. Joe says:

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall when “[Cdl. Castrillón Holys] presented the diappointment of the Holy See for the non-application of the Motu Proprio” which I take these days have a bit more…um…teeth than they might have in years past.



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