Julius Cardinal Darmaatmadja, SJ says Summorum Pontificum doesn’t apply to Jakarta

I received this via e-mail.  The English is not perfect, and I have cleaned up some obvious errors that don’t alter the sense.  The one who sent it has interjected comments, but they are clearly defined. My emphases and comments:

A rather garbled translation of Julius Cardinal Darmaatmadja SJ pastoral letter declaring that Summorum Pontificum does not apply to the Archdiocese of Jakarta.


Position of Jakarta ArchBishop

1. Missale Romanum which was officiated by Pope John XXIII in the year 1962, and used during The Second Vatican Council, is the one which Pope Benedict XVI declared can be used in [his] "motu proprio data" on 7 July 2007. It is true that legaly there was never any restriction on its [ie. 1962 Mass] usage, even after The Second Vatican Council there was a change on Missale Romanum 1970 which was officiated by Pope Paul VI and renewed by Pope John Paul II in two new editions. This new Missale Romanum is the one we use up until now.

2. The Pope encourage us not to view [the current change set by Summorum Pontificum] as having two on going rites. He encourages us to view that there is only one rite which in its growth there is a difference in form between the old and the new. "In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture." The new form which is what we currently used, is called by the Pope as the ordinary form (forma ordinaria) while the old form of 1962 he calls non-ordinary form (forma extraordinaria). (note: yes, that’s how His Eminence + Darmaatmadja phrase it, "non-ordinary" instead of "extraordinary")

3. Why Missale Romanum 1962 was declared usable? Despite that there was never any restriction on its usage, there was a need by certain faithful in certain area whom still wish to enjoy the value in it, including amongst Pius X’s faithful which was instituted by Lefebvre. [Note this carefully, for it is important later: the writer says that the Pope provisions aim at people who are attached to the older form of liturgy.  Among those people, some are attached to the SSPX.  A group within a larger group.]  Although the reason for seperation by the Lefebvrist is more fundamental. And as a consequence of its [ie. Pius X group] position to still use the 1962 Missale Romanum, many faithful join the Pius X group only because [their] eucharistic celebration is still using the old form. For the sake of reunification and reconciliation on 1984 Pope John Paul II allowed the Lefebvrist to use the form of 1962. But because outside of Pius X group there are some who wish to use this [old] form, Pope John Paul II on 1988 published [his] motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" to the bishops, to use their authority to give permission to those who wants it. Pope Benedict XVI repeats again [the permission] [That is not quite it.   Summorum Pontificum says that priests with faculties to say Mass also have automatically the faculties to use the older books.  It is not a separate permission.] with giving detail notes for broader audience with "motu proprio data" 7 July 2007. But without reducing the authority which the bishops has in moderating the liturgy in their area.

4. As a bishops which authority is also recognized in "motu proprio data", I affirm that what is currently practiced now is the only [one] officialy practiced for the Arch Diocese of Jakarta. Until there are special condition which force this ruling to be reviewed.

5. I made the ruling because of consideration that the reason for the [re]establishement of the 1962 Missale Romanum is not relevant [!] for the Arch diocese of Jakarta. There are no Pius X group, the lefebvrist group. There is no reason for reconciliation in the Church in the Arch diocese of Jakarta, [Remember that, above, the writer clearly stated that those attached the SSPX movement were not the only ones for whom Summorum Pontificum was issued.  Thus, the Archbishop of Jakarta has simply brushed aside those who have never had and questionable unity.  He is inconsistent. ] which has become the reason [Completely sidestepping what Summorum Pontificum says.] for "motu proprio data" 7 July 2007. With the currently practice Missale Romanum, still opens the possibility of Gregorian songs being sung. Therefore I decided for the whole ArchDiocese of Jakarta to follow the ordinary [which is] the newest form of Missale Romanum, in order to follow the latest development, [a development] which was made after the second Vatican council.


There you have it.   The Archbishop of Jakarta has openly stated that the PAPAL juridical document affecting all the priests in the Latin Church doesn’t apply to his diocese. 

Even considering the problems of translation, I think this might be the most blatant act of defiance I have seen to date.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. TNCath says:

    And this guy is a cardinal? Wow! If this doesn’t get a “fraternal correction,” nothing will. This reminds me of a line by Sheriff Buford T. Justice (the late great Jackie Gleason) in that 70’s classic Smokey and the Bandit: “What we’re dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law.”

  2. Derik Castillo says:

    I hope this is another example of a letter written by someone
    other than the Bishop and then published in his name. It is
    hard to believe a Bishop has such a limited understanding of
    Canon Law and the current situation of the Roman Rite.

  3. Ottaviani says:

    Some bishops still think JP II is still ruling the church…

  4. Cornelius says:

    Astonishing. I’m sure the good Cardinal will have a private audience with the
    Holy Father soon.

  5. Han says:

    So what is the remedy? Rome breaks communion with Jakarta?

  6. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    What no one seems to be addressing is that ecclesiastical Gallicanism is very much the ecclesiology of huge sectors of hierarchy since the late Council!

    Edmund Richer, the seventeenth-century syndic of the Sorbonne theology faculty, would feel very comfortable with many of our contemporary churchmen.

  7. This is a sincere question: His Eminence seems to be saying by this letter that the Holy Father’s writ does not run in his archdiocese.

    Is that, in itself, an act of formal schism by the Cardinal Archbishop of Jakarta?

  8. danphunter1 says:

    Why not disobey Canon Law? Why not disobey the Holy Father?
    Many USCCB bishops do it, and at least in this world are getting away with it.
    Where is the censure?
    God bless the Church.

  9. Templar says:

    Comment by Ottaviani
    Some bishops still think JP II is still ruling the church…

    My home NO Parish still has the pictures of JPII on the office walls, and not a picture of B16 in sight. I find it sad.

  10. Theodorus says:

    Another pathetic instrument and agent of the devil!

  11. trespinos says:

    Please, more charity in comboxes is called for.

    After this statement is reviewed by the appropriate persons in Rome, including the Holy Father, and a confidential letter is sent back to the Cardinal pointing out his misunderstanding and error, and then, if no published correction is issued in the Cardinal’s name, then it may be time for public fraternal correction. But it is still early in this affair, and either the SJ after the Cardinal’s name was no guarantee that he learned to read and understand papal documents, or he is inclined to disobey this one. Time will tell.

  12. danphunter1 says:

    You are ironic.
    Very amusing.

  13. Masone says:


    Not only is he a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, he’s also a Jesuit! What about their fourth vote, and obedience “perinde ac cadaver”?

    I hope there’s a mistake here. I do hope so.

  14. Prof. Basto says:




  15. Cerimoniere says:

    This really is astonishing, if indeed the translation is accurate. Imperfect as the English is, it seems clear that the Cardinal is stating explicitly that a law enacted for the whole Latin Church by the Vicar of Christ is not in force in his diocese, and that he as the Ordianry is entitled so to decree.

    Paul’s question above is a fair one. I am not sure that this type of action by a bishop falls directly within the canon dealing with schism arising from a refusal of obedience to the Roman Pontiff, since the Cardinal isn’t refusing to do something that the Pope has required him to do. (After all, the point of the document, in one sense, is that it doesn’t require bishops to do anything.) Neither is the Cardinal doing anything directly forbidden by the law.

    However, he could hardly have refused obedience any more directly, except perhaps by attempting to discipline a priest exercising his right to celebrate in the tradtional use. That, of course, may yet happen. But he has already repudiated his duty to obey the Pope, by attempting to place his own clergy under an obedience contrary to their rights in universal law. Indeed, his words might even be read to constitute an implicit denial of the Pope’s right to legislate over his diocese, and thus of his ordinary universal jurisdiction.

    This certainly is a scandal, to say the least; all the more so because it is a Cardinal who has done this. It will be very interesting to see how the Holy See responds.

  16. Patronus says:

    I’m having a hard time figuring out which is more disheartening – the Cardinal’s error, or some of the venom being flung in this comment thread which seems so symptomatic of counterproductive extremist attitudes.

    There’s a way to criticize without sounding arrogant or without reproach in one’s own right.

  17. magdalen says:

    There is nothing new in blatant disobedience on the part of one in
    the episcopate; we ahve been living with it for 40 years.

    Lets see…a more charitable spin: perhaps he does not understand
    the Summorum Pontificum???

  18. Tom says:

    I was accused of “trashing” Cardinal DiNardo for simply asking whether he adheres to the “party line.” Cardinal Dinardo declared that the TLM is celebrated within his diocese; there’s little interest in the TLM; he doesn’t envision that the TLM will experience much growth within his diocese; the people are very happy with the Novus Ordo.

    My post regarding Cardinal DiNardo was removed from this blog.

    Various remarks that I have just read regarding Cardinal Darmaatmadja are outright nasty.

    Funny how it’s acceptable to trash Cardinal Darmaatmadja, but it’s unacceptable to inquire as to how Cardinal DiNardo’s remarks differ from the “party line.”

  19. Brian C. says:

    Hm… the anti-spam word was “THINK before posting”; quite timely.

    To Tom: in all fairness, Fr. Z is out on the road (in Rome, at last report), and he may not have the speedy access (and copious time) necessary to do the heavy-duty editing that this thread (in my opinion, as well) seems to need.

    I have to echo Patronus: surely we have the self-control and charity necessary to offer critical commentary–even pointedly critical commentary–*without* ranting, raving, insulting, and otherwise being a scandal to others (not to mention marring the credibility of the fully legitimate “traditional” movement)?

    In Christ,

  20. Theodorus says:

    “The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on the Latin Liturgy of July 7th 2007 is the fruit of a deep reflection by our Pope on the mission of the Church. It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules. Even not if they were made by a bishops conference. Even bishops do not have this right. What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church. If we do not follow this principle, we will allow ourselves to be used as INSTRUMENTS OF THE DEVIL, and nobody else.”–Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship

  21. Reverendo Fr. Zuhlsdorf ,

    you wrote: “[…] I think this might be the most blatant act of defiance I have seen to date”.

    And what about Milano (http://www.cattoliciromani.com/forum/showpost.php?p=237693&postcount=1)?

    Il Vanzaghese

  22. Reverendo Fr. Zuhlsdorf ,

    you wrote: \”[…] I think this might be the most blatant act of defiance I have seen to date\”.

    And what about Milano (http://www.cattoliciromani.com/forum/showpost.php?p=237693&postcount=1)?

    Il Vanzaghese

  23. tgliang says:

    This bishop should obviously not have been elevated to a cardinal. In this world with hundreds of bishops familiar and unfamiliar to the pope, the pope has to rely on recommendations, notably from nuncios residing in foreign countries. While it is impossible to predict a person’s behavior years after his elevation to the cardinalate, perhaps questions asked of the nuncios may be more pointed. And oaths to the pope may be improved.

  24. prof. basto says:

    Won’t the Holy See take stringent action to safeguard the de facto effectiveness
    of the immediate and ordinary power possessed by the
    Roman Pontiff over both all the Pastors and all the faithful ?

  25. Tom Lanter says:

    Every one just calm down we all know Rome moves soooo slow. I have great confidence that the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, will remedy all things pertaining to the TLM just as our Holy Father commissioned them to do. Summorum Pontificum and the cover letter to all bishops are not that difficult to under stand, even I do and I am just a retired electrician. We have waited thirty-seven years for this beautiful Mass have patience this will end well.
    The Pope has thousands of Bishops who as a group have every type of strength or weakness, nothing has changed look at the first twelve and they were hand picked by Our Lord Him Self.

    Tom Lanter

  26. BK says:

    Comment by Brian C.:

    “surely we have the self-control and charity necessary to offer critical commentary—even pointedly critical commentary—*without* ranting, raving, insulting, and otherwise being a scandal to others (not to mention marring the credibility of the fully legitimate “traditional” movement)?”

    Comment by Archbishop Ranjith:

    “It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules. Even not if they were made by a bishops conference. Even bishops do not have this right. What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church. If we do not follow this principle, we will allow ourselves to be used as INSTRUMENTS OF THE DEVIL”

    ‘Nuff said.

  27. Theodorus says:

    I’m also having a hard time figuring out which is more disheartening: unmasking some wolves in shepherd’s clothing , or being nice and obedient to those shepherds who openly defy the Vicar of Christ. I came from China, and Chinese Catholics have long been suffering for being obedient to our Holy Father, and we have no regret for that. But when I came to the U.S 14 years ago, I realized how ironic it was. So many so-called shepherds in the free world publicly disobey the Pope, and yet they still pretty much enjoy the privilegs bestowed on them. With a persecution as bloody and severe as in China, the Church in China is still holding on, despite the severe and deep wounds. But I am amazed that many churhces in the free world are in virtual schism even without a persecution. If we Chinese put our faith in local bishops, then the Church in China would have long been dead 40 years ago. We know it is wrong to obey the so-called bishops picked by the Communists, why? Because those bishops rejected the authority of the Vicar of Christ! But pray tell me, what is the difference between the bishops in China who obeyed the government rather than the Holy Father and the bishops in free world who publicly defy order of the Holy Father?! Because of the faithful’s rejection, many Chinese bishops picked by the government had to seek approval from the Holy See. I guess Westerners are probably much more civilized, educated, and nicer than the Chinese, which might bring a change of heart in those disobedient bishops in the free world.

  28. JML says:

    Is there an opening in Rome?

    “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

  29. LeonG says:

    “……… Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there. Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

    Given at St. Peter’s in the year of the Lord’s Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.

    No wonder the church is in such a liturgical mess – this is the time of the “wrath”.

  30. Patronus says:

    Notice, however, that although Archbishop Ranjith’s criticism is harsh, he levels it as a general principle – NOT an ad hominem assault.

    “But pray tell me, what is the difference between the bishops in China who obeyed the government rather than the Holy Father and the bishops in free world who publicly defy order of the Holy Father?!”

    Well, the latter were actually appointed as shepherds by the Holy Father.

    And one problem is our overeagerness to condemn a bishop even when we don’t know the full story (e.g. the 3 Italian priests post from last week). Does obedience have no place at all? [And inevitably, someone will pull out Aquinas and say “oh, but obedience isn’t necessary if x or not x.” Yes, I know. But that’s not my general point here.]

  31. michigancatholic says:

    the latter were actually appointed as shepherds by the Holy Father

    Then, Patronus, someone should be able to tell by their actions. But no one can. That’s the problem.

  32. danphunter1 says:

    Many bishops have been apointed by the pope, but they have no business shepherding souls.
    The Holy Father is not protected by the Holy Ghost in appointing bishops.
    He usually relies on the recomendation of Papal Nuncios or Cardinals, who many times themselves are not in keeping with the authority of the Church.
    Just look at Cardinal Mahoney, Bishop Weakland etc..
    These men have no business being shepherds of men, yet there they sit, or sat and they have inflicted immeasurable damage against the Mystical Body.

  33. Brian C. says:

    :) I suppose I should be flattered to be highlighted like that…


    Patronus already addressed this point, but it could use re-emphasis: there’s a very clear difference between saying that someone is “allowing themselves to be used as instruments of the devil” (we do that, every time we sin, after all), and a full-tilt rant-fest in which various intemperate parties scream for vengeance against this-or-that bishop. Of *course* there’s a part of us that feels good when a bishop, etc., who’s been doing wrong things gets a comeuppance; but I would gently suggest that this “feeling” is not to be encouraged. Can anyone present a coherent argument to me, explaining how “ranting” and “gloating” are at all good things, even when we’re sorely provoked?

    “But if doing well you suffer patiently; this is thankworthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps. Who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Whe, when He was reviled, did not revile: when He suffered, He threatened not: but delivered Himself to him that judged Him unjustly.” (1 Peter 2:20-23)

    Honestly, are there so few who remember that “good ends do not justify evil means”? Or that obedience, while not meaning a slavish adherence to every whim of a superior, is still one of the highest of the virtues? Or een that there are things which are “allowed, but not expedient” (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:22)? With all due respect to Archbishop Levebvre (God rest his soul), his good end of preserving our patrimony did not justify his flagrant disobedience, nor his flatly disrespectful stance toward Pope John Paul II (e.g. Archbishop Levebvre, in speaking to the press, said of JPII: “He didn’t seem like a pope to me; he had no character” [George Weigel, _Witness to Hope_, p.562]), nor his insistence on doing things “his own way”. It’s easy to say, “I’m not doing it my way–I’m doing it the Church’s way!”, while–of course–leaving yourself as the arbiter of what the Church “really says” about such matters. Where does it end?

    By all means, we should be vocal and firm in pursuing our rights under canon law (and under the principle of simple justice); but is it so hard to maintain even a modicum of self-control while doing so… and stopping ourselves from giving way to every whimper, whine and tantrum that tempts us? Maybe some people see Fr. Z’s website as “a safe place to rant”; but I’ve personally never been fond of ranting for the sake of ranting. I don’t know… can someone present a coherent argument to the contrary?

    Personally, I was hoping that this “age of Summorum Pontificum” would give us the chance to give a better example than the petulance we’ve endured from the more strident members of the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd; if we’re so much better than those who persecuted us wrongly, then why do we act so much like them, when given half a chance?

    In Christ,

  34. Norman says:

    If anything, this means that we should pray for all our Bishops in South East Asia who seem to have swept this matter under the carpet, for some reason.

    It is not true that the SSPX is not active. From their base in Singapore, along with funding from rich families, they fly all over Asia to celebrate Mass.

  35. James says:

    How about as an intermediate step in the process of disciplining certain bishops, the Vatican awards them with 30 pieces of silver? That would give them pause to reflect.

    Surely most bishops are good and holy men, and they are gifts for whom we cannot praise God highly enough.

  36. Matt Q says:

    As I’ve said before, Rome does not discipline bishops either out of fear or lack of regard.

  37. LeonG says:

    If it were not for the SSPX there would be no Latin Mass in SE Asia. Furthermore, some bishops here have threatened their sheep with various menaces from excommunication to being labeled schismatics. In fact, information from a very good friend who is active in the Latin Mass movement in this part of the world states that episcopal resistance to traditional liturgical worship has been exacerbated rather than ameliorated. Many modern catholics in this region are almost totally ignorant not only about what is going on in the church at large but they also know precious little about the Roman Catholic Faith.

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