Subsequent to the explosive entry about the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei confirming to me that the so-called Second Confiteor is not permitting in celebrations of Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum, I have gotten some interesting e-mail.
I closed the comments on the above mentioned thread and invited e-mail instead.
Here is something that caught my attention and I share with you now. It is somewhat edited and with my emphases and comments.
Your blog is very interesting indeed!
I have enjoyed posting comments and reading the comments of others, for the most part.
There has been quite a discussion on the issue of the rubrics of the 1962 Missal, and in particular the "second Confiteor".
Though the PCED does not respond officially via email, I was able to get certain yet unofficial clarifications in accordance with the praxis of the Pontificial Commission from that office regarding a particular upcoming celebration of the Extraordinary Form in my parish. Among the clarifications were the Confiteor before the Communion of the Faithful.
The response stated the following points:
1. The 1962 Roman Missal does not prescribe a second Confiteor before Holy Communion. [Right. This was removed from the rubrics for the 1962 edition.]
2. It does seem that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter insists on this [a confiteor before Holy Communion] [That sounds right. I am not sure, but I think the ICK does also.]
3. The 1962 Missal already took into consideration that the first Confiteor and the Pater Noster constitute an appropriate preparation for Holy Communion, rendering the repetition of the Confiteor redundant. [Also, the Second Confiteor had been introduced because rites for distribution of Holy Communion outside of Mass were plugged into Mass, and therefore there was Confiteor included.]
4. It is the 1962 code of rubrics which is to be followed, not an earlier one. [That is really the point, isn’t it? We have permission to use the 1962 Missal, not another.]
While, personally, I prefer the idea of the second confiteor [Understandable.] and am not scandalized by its use in the EF, I would not be scandalized by its omission either. There are some that would be and for yourself, you have pointed out that you would follow the practice of the place, though you would never train a priest to do it regularly, though hopefully you would make him aware of it. [Right. I would not train a priest that he should do it, but I would teach him what to do if the servers started a Second Confiteor. My practice is simply to give the absolutions in the traditional way without making a silly fuss about it during Mass nd causing wonder.]
It does seem to me that there is an important point about Church Discipline that is being missed when people are looking for it in obedience to red words.
Saying the Black and Doing the Red does not always work, especially if there is a typo as there was in the 2002 Missal and as there have been in Traditional Missals. Sometimes the black should be red and vice versa. One needs to know enough to know when the book should not be followed. [I think this part of the argument is a red herring. Rubrics can be reasonably clarified.] Knowledge of Tradition makes up for typos. This is because Tradition is the Discipline of the Church. When the Church changes her discipline does Tradition change too? Necessarily it would seem!
Before the authoritative statement given by Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, was it not the official position of the Church that the Traditional Mass could not be celebrated without express permission from Rome granted through the Ordinary under specific conditions? [No, not quite. Rome didn’t have to give permission. The PCED preferred that local bishops and superiors do so. Also, if memory stirs in the right direction, there was great latitude about this for strictly private Masses, but that is another issue.] Thus for decades informed priests were bound in conscience to seek this permission, a permission that now, Benedict says was not really required since it was not abrogated. [Do not forget that priests always need permission to say Mass at all! They must have faculties from the proper authority. Now, however, when priests have faculties to say the Roman Rite Mass at all, they automatically have the faculties to say the older Mass too.]
But does that mean that the Traditional Mass was not degrogated by the promulgation of the New Order of Mass? Surely no priest has an obligation to celebrate according the the now: extraordinary form. [There might be some sort of obligation depending on the true pastoral needs of the faithful and, I think, an obligation to know how to celebrate your Rite, but I will stipulate.] Thus one does not have to follow those rubrics when saying Mass in the Roman Rite, one may instead choose to use the rubrics of 2002, exclusively.
If the Traditional Mass was not abograted, but remains as an option, does it do so because of the will of the current Pope, because Paul VI failed to abrogate it canonically, or because that which once was sacred cannot cease to be for us and such things cannot be equitably anulled? If the latter then it would seem that it is Justice that prevents its lawful abrogation.
How do you understand the ecclesiastical principle of equity in law as applying to this situation? It seems to me that this principle and the idea of Discipline are connected. For the purpose of Discipline is Justice under the ideas of Order and Equity. The idea of following the rubrics of the 1962 Missal falls under the idea of Order. The idea of following the practice of the place when they are not following the rubrics of 1962 seems to fall under the idea of Equity if scandal were an issue.
Also, it would seem that only the Roman use of the Roman Rite is safeguarded by the Motu Proprio and not the Dominican, Fransican, or Carmelite uses of the Roman Rite. Is this correct? [The writer is now going all over the place. We are talking about the 1962 Missale Romanum.]
Obedience is certainly important, even in small details. This is granted. At the same time I do hate to see fellow trads arguing about who is more or less obedient to the rubrics of 1962 Missal. [The solution is easy: everyone should follow the rubrics.]
Even in the unofficial clarification, it says that the second confiteor is not proscribed, it does not say that it is forbidden. [This is slick, but I don’t know that it is right. It is food for thought, however. We might even be able to apply this to use of the older prayers for Jews on Good Friday with this argument.] The clarification says that the rubrics of the 1962 are to be followed not an earlier one. But this touches on more than omitting the confiteor at communion. It also would seem to abolish the bows to the crucifix at the Oremus and at the Name of Jesus, and who knows what else. If there is doubt, and there seems to be, as the clarification points out regarding the FSSP, then it would seem that in equity, there is no obligation for priests to treat those minor details as having been abolished if for a good reason, they continue to observe the previous rubrics.
Thank you and be assured of many prayers,
If the popularization of this issue helps the PCED develop a list of questions to issue clarifications about in the future after the more general clarifying guidelines have been issued.
BTW… the document we are waiting for, which I was was told by two independent sources is now on the Holy Father’s desk, and which will be issued in forma specifica, will not deal with these sorts of questions. Specifics will need other responses.