Don’t lose sight

In another entry I wrote:

Now that Summorum Pontificum is a year old, we are seeing that the provisions of Ecclesia Dei adflicta are being implemented.

I think we must be patient about implementing Summorum Pontificum.

At the same time we must keep moving forward.

I am delighted that "personal parishes" are being established. 

We need places of stable worship where all the sacraments can be celebrated.

We need places of reference where people can learn and get comfortable in their own Catholic skins again. 

Personal parishes are very important and helpful. 

We need many of them, everywhere, and soon.

At the same time, bishops could have set us personal parishes long before Summorum Pontificum was issued. 

Under the provisions of Ecclesia Dei adflicta, which expanded the existing legislation, all those things were already possible.

Summorum Pontificum is a juridical solution which gives every priest of the Latin Church the right to use the older liturgical books.  Pastors of parishes can now establish TLM’s in their parishes without permission from anyone.  They can use the Rituale Romanum without permission from anyone.  This can happen in every parish.  Granted, that is not going to happen soon.  But this need not be isolated to a parish here or there, creating small communities cut off from the rest of the life of parishes in the diocese.

Summorum Pontificum is the present and future.

Ecclesia Dei adflicta is the past.

Summorum Pontificum… now!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Paul Quist says:

    I’m hoping that with the revival of the EF Mass that there will come a comcomitant revival of family devotions and piety. Where can one learn about things like using chalk, salt, sacramentals and other pious practices that have been largely abandoned or forgotten in the last 40 years? Until 3.5 years ago I was a Lutheran pastor and converted because of the Church’s teaching (esp. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body). Now I’m the director of the Marriage and Family Life Office for the archdiocese of Edmonton (Alberta) and wondering how we can help largely secularized families regain a Catholic culture and ethos in their homes.

    Thank you!
    Paul Quist
    Edmonton, AB

  2. Paul: I’m hoping that with the revival of the EF Mass that there will come a comcomitant revival of family devotions and piety.

    You can be certain of it. The families in the traditional communities I’ve experienced have just as thirsty for traditional devotions and piety as for the traditional Mass. “It’s not just the Mass” they want, but the whole package of traditional Catholic family life.

    Really, the Mass and the way of life it fosters can hardly be separated.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Personal parishes for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite make me uneasy. Doesn’t this run the risk of putting it into a “ghetto”? How can the old Mass influence the new when the old Mass is tucked away over in the corner? I’d much rather see both forms side-by-side in parishes.

  4. quint1 says:

    I have been fighting for the Tridentine Mass since a long time. But I do not like the idea of personal parishes for the same reason Geoffrey mentioned. I want the Tridentine Mass to be a normal part of my “normal” parish (I am not saying that a personal perish is not a normal parish, but I think you get, what I mean).

  5. William Radovich says:

    I agree with Geoffrey and quint1. The EF of the Latin rite need not be segregated in personal parishes. At least one Sunday Mass in all parishes should be the goal and if it is too difficult for the High Mass because of a trained choir, at least a Low Mass. People get a Missal and follow along in the beauty of this Divine Liturgy: Sacrament, Sacrifice, Marriage Feast of the Lamb! Deo Gratias!

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I mentioned this in another post. I walked past a local Protestant church one day and their sign read something like “Contemporary Service, 9am. Traditional Service, 10am.”

    Something similiar is my hope for all Catholic parishes. “Mass in the Ordinary Form, 9am. Mass in the Extraordinary Form, 10am.”

    There are already a few such parishes, which should be models for every parish. St. Agnes, St. John Cantius, the Oratories in England… where there are both forms of the Mass in Latin, as well as the Ordinary Form in the vernacular… even Vespers, Benediction, etc… great models that I pray grow and grow.

  7. wsxyz says:

    Do not be opposed to personal parishes.

    Yes, every parish should have a TLM, but EF personal parishes are so very much more.
    All the sacraments are available in the traditional rite, traditional devotions are
    practiced, there are no altar girls, no OF cantors or lectors or “eucharistic
    ministers” to take offense because they are not needed, and best of all – no parish

  8. quint1 says:


    “All the sacraments are available in the traditional rite”

    For that no personal parish is needed. You can request every single sacrament in the traditional rite in a normal parish (see Summorum Pontificum).

    “traditional devotions are practiced”

    They can (and increasingly) are practiced in normal parishes. There is no need for personal parishes.

    “there are no altar girls”

    They also aren’t in TLMs in normal parishes. That is no matter of personal parishes. It belongs simply to the rite of mass.

    And so on …

    I don’t think these are convincing arguments – except for “no parish council” ;-)

  9. Carolina Geo says:

    I can think of one very good reason for personal parishes for the old rite. Such a parish is typically staffed by priests from the FSSP, ICKSP, etc. rather than by diocesan priests. Priests from those orders are not shy about instructing their parishioners about behaviors at Mass – from not chewing gum to keeping a sacred silence to offering a thanksgiving after Mass to dressing appropriately at Mass. For whatever reasons, diocesan priests frequently avoid such topics. As a result, the faithful who assist at Mass at personal parishes dress and act appropriately at Mass. With dual-use parishes, it’s very hit and miss.

    I used to attend a parish run by the FSSP. Everyone (with very rare exceptions, always visitors) acted in an appropriate manner for Mass. And the priests there frequently made comments about what behaviors were and were not appropriate for Mass.

    I now have to attend the traditional Mass at a dual-use parish. I am constantly scandalized by the clothes that people are wearing (shorts, skimpy dresses, etc.) or when people are chewing gum, etc. I have not once heard the priest address such inappropriate behaviors. I hate to think of the difficulties that parents of small children have in explaining to their kids why their pewmates are acting in such scandalous ways.

    While I agree that the traditional Mass should be made available in all parishes, I also think that there should be at least one personal parish in each larger metropolitan area so that birds of a traditional feather may have some place in which to flock together.

  10. Rose in NE says:

    I agree with Carolina Geo. In the 20+ years I attended a NO parish, I can’t remember ever hearing a diocesan priest address modesty in dress and demeanor at mass. My husband and I now attend a personal parish staffed by the FSSP. The traditional order priests are absolutely fearless in their preaching and teaching (with charity, of course) and people do respect that.

    It’s also great to have a parish where all the traditional devotions are practiced. Yes, we’d love to see the traditional mass in all parishes, but it is great to have a personal parish where all of traditional Catholic culture is respected.

  11. Woody Jones says:

    I hate to voice negative thoughts here, but not only is SP not being implemented that eagerly, even more disturbing is the apparent lack of interest in even implementing the “Benedictite” altar arrangements and communion practice. I haven’t seen this done even by those groups (you know who I mean) that used to claim they were “in step with the Pope” (one statement recently said “in step with the Church”… an intentional change, one wonders?) or followed the “sweet Christ on earth” in all his indications. I very much fear (as I have said before) that these fellows, and the bishops generally, think that the Holy Father’s time is short and they better not “come out” as trads too much.

  12. Louis E. says:

    Are there any exclusively-TLM churches in the USA that are run by DIOCESAN rather than religious-order priests,apart from Mater Ecclesiae?

  13. Eric says:

    Words like “ghetto” and “cut off” are not my experience with a “personal parish:”

    Parishes in my deanery are very parochial. There are people that wouldn’t be caught dead at mass in a neighboring parish. However the number of visitors at the TLM “personal parish” is big.

    I said it in another post. Influence doesn’t equal arguement. The best influence is by example.

    I would like nothing better than to be the thorn in the side of some liberal geezer that thinks the Novus Ordo is the end all be all. However, I’m not going to risk the souls of my wife and children to be involved in an experiment in frustration.

  14. Tony from Oz says:

    Optimal is a word which comes to mind when considering Personal vs ‘dual’ parishes. I have no problem with either model being encouraged. But I do see that a dedicated personal parish does have the advantage – through stability – of being able to establish the choirs, servers, and other necessary personnel to be able to perform the TLM in its normative form (ie the high mass/missa cantata as fallback) – perhaps more readily than in a dual parish (especially where the clergy are somewhat ambivalent). Ideally, personal parishes should serve as a ‘model of excellence’ which can be imitated, and inspire, dual parishes seeking to establish EF Masses – and even provide dual parishes with the training and expertise and encouragement required to institute EF Masses within their bounds.

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