Instruction on Summorum Pontificum “imminent”?

For a long time people have wondered about the "Instruction" that was to come from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (now under the CDF) on the Holy Father’s "emancipation proclamation" Summorum Pontificum.

For some time I wondered whether it would be a good thing to have one.  But over time I have come around to the idea a bit more, given that we have seen good leadership from the revised PCED.

I found this on Rinascimento Sacro in turn from Panorama.  My translation with a bit of editing.

Instruction on Summorum Pontificum should be imminent.

[…] The arrival also of the instruction of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for the interpretation and application of the Pope’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum…. is in the homestretch.  At about three years since the release of the controversial papal document, groups of traditionalists have again denounced obstructionism by some bishops against the celebration of Mass with the Tridentine rite.  To this are joined points of doubt and differences of interpretation of the norms.  The awaited instruction should give the final word to these divisions.  [Ignazio Ingrao]

Who knows what "imminent" means.

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  1. Choirmaster says:

    I think (quite cynically) that “imminent” is meant in an ultimate sense; that is, the instruction will come.

    It does not seem to indicate when it will come, just that it will come.

  2. pauljk says:

    Is that “near” future then?

  3. TNCath says:

    “Imminent” in the Church is akin to the word “shortly” on an airline when the flight attendant says, “We should be on the ground shortly,” or in a doctor’s waiting room, when the receptionist tells you that the doctor will be with you “shortly,” or on hold with the cable company, when the recorded voice says, “Thank you for holding. A customer service representative will be with you shortly.”

  4. maynardus says:

    Hmm… three years after Summorum Pontificum. Wasn’t something supposed to happen three years after S.P. came into effect? Oh, yeah, the bishops are supposed to send an account of their experiences to the Holy Father. I’m wondering if the timing of the “instruction” could be at all related to this anniversary, which some initially considered to be a potential “sunset date” for S.P. To my mind the timing may be quite auspicious.

  5. Deo volente says:


    RORATE CÆLI in a post at noon is predicting a “Papal surprise” during Holy Week. The source is a Spanish blog, I believe. Any thoughts on this? Any rumblings?


  6. Brian K says:

    Remember back when all the naysayers were nay-saying that the Motu Proprio, which was imminent for three years, would either never materialize, or would fail to fulfill the great expectations of the faithful?

    Let’s be patient and just offer some extra prayers, and be pleasantly surprised when the clarification comes out. If the overwhelmingly positive effects of SP are any indication, the clarification will also probably surpass our greatest expectations.

  7. Sid says:

    Folks, let’s all be from Missouri on this and any other “papal surprises”. First because if it doesn’t happen, then you’ll not be disappointed;and second because if it does happen, then your joy will be double. Save faith and hope for Something even more worthy.

  8. Prof. Basto says:

    I would like to see the Instruction published AFTER September 2010 (or better yet, after January 1st, 2011) and to see an official statement in the Instruction that it is the Holy See’s response not only to the most common doubts presented over the last years, but also the Holy See’s response to the reports sent by the Bishops under the provisions of the motu proprio.

    In some way or another, there is going to be an official response by Rome to the reports sent by the bishops; so it would be better if this response came with all solemntiy under the present pontificate. Just to avoid in the future the impression that this matter was still pending, and to guarantee that the definitive response to the three year period will be issued officially by the present Pope and by no one else.

  9. Symeon says:

    “Imminent” is Vaticanese for “within a generation or two from now”. It really doesn’t mean anything. So I won’t hold my breath. But if both this and the RC article is true I suspect they are one and the same: a clarification on SP coming during Holy Week.

  10. I’m guessing sometime between now and next year, haha

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    Does anyone think a clarification of SP is actually needed? Other than perhaps setting in concrete the recent PCED letter affirming that a pastor can offer the EF on his own initiative for the benefit of the people, absent any specific request — i.e., the minimal size of a “stable group” is zero — and that a scheduled OF Mass can be replaced by an EF Mass. What more might usefully be said?

  12. Flambeaux says:

    I’ve long thought the clarification document would come out after the end of the 3 year review period.

  13. robtbrown says:

    Imminent can mean that the document has been prepared, but it can also mean that the document has been prepared AND members of the commission (and anyone else with authority) have all agreed that it is ready.

  14. gambletrainman says:

    Maybe “imminent” means the same as in my State..Let’s do a feasibility study. Then we can do a study of the feasibility study. Then, we can do the first draft, tier one, then comes the first draft, tire 2, then we can do the feasibility study on the first draft. By that time, my GRANDCHILDREN will probably be gone.

  15. tired student says:

    I’ve got some fears about an instruction on SP. Everyone knows that there are plenty of bishops that would like to see SP abolished. I suspect many would appreciate a return to the 1988 indult or even no rights for traditional Catholics. Can liberal bishops force traditional Catholicism back into the indult days or worse? Will the CDF lend them an ear? I certainly hope not, but this is my worst nightmare.

    On the other hand, the liberal bishops could be told in very forceful and unambiguous words that under no circumstances may they ever impede a priest from celebrating the TLM. The liberal bishops would probably still disregard the Holy Father’s instructions. I sometimes wonder why PCED or the CDF would bother chiding liberal bishops if doing so will result in nothing. I don’t think there is any way that the Holy See could sanction a bishop for obstructing the TLM, so any instructions are paper tigers.

  16. Mitchell NY says:

    It most likely would be good news to have a clarification on the Moto Proprio SP. For no other reason but a reminder that SP is here to stay, will be enforced, and is a priority of this Pontificate. The Holy Father has indirectly taken many under his wing, so to speak, with this ruling regarding the Tridentine Mass and many are so thankful for it. He has shown a great strength and caring for his people and Church. Lay faithful look forward to his words and thoughts on the implementation of SP. All too often documents from Rome are issued, filed and forgotten about. Not even spoken about again. For instance, Veterum Sapientia. I pray the clarification comes soon and strengthens this form of Mass in Holy Church. As with the translation, we have waited long enough. It was leaked so long ago that it lead to expectation, which we should all know Rome moves at her pace.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    The Roman imminent = sometime between now and the second coming. It’ll happen if and when it happens.

  18. Imminent is sort of like the Roman waiter’s “subito”.

  19. Animadversor says:

    Who knows what “imminent” means.

    Has not the Lord’s return been imminent for nearly two thousand years?

  20. ruadhri says:

    I wonder would a “clarification” tackle the matter of the calendar, which really needs addressing, and such matters as reading the Epistle and Gospel (and Gradual and Tract?) in the vernacular.

  21. Penguins Fan says:

    ruadhri, from your lips to God’s ears.

    There should be one calendar for the Roman rite, regardless of form, and IMHO, the Extraordinary form calendar is superior,

  22. wmeyer says:

    Perhaps it is just me, but I had thought that Summorum Pontificum was a document of great clarity. And yet, an instruction is needed?

    Here in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, it is as if Summorum Pontificum had never been published.

  23. wmeyer: Most juridical documents require some clarifications.

  24. Penguins: The calendar issue is a problem.

  25. A day is as a 1000 years, so only God knows how long imminent is. ;-)

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