Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” intervenes in Croatia

It was apparent not long after 7 July 2007, when Summorum Pontificum was issued, that suddenly all sorts of bishops became intensely interested in implementing the defunct Ecclesia dei adflicta.

They right away began talking about “giving permission” and “granting celebrations”, etc.   The problem is that Summorum Pontificum lifted most of that burden from the already tired shoulders of bishops and gave it instead to those so-esteemed collaborators, pastors of parishes, rectors, etc.

There are still places where people ask for celebrations and are denied, not just because the priest might not be interested (in those cases the bishop is required to help them positively). Bishops have ways to make sure priests knuckle under, even when the law isn’t on their side.

His dictis

Our friends at Rorate have posted something quite interesting.

Monday, December 06, 2010
The PCED intervenes in Croatia

There is apparently, at present, not a single public Mass according to the preconciliar Roman Missal in Croatia, either in Latin or in Slavonic (the “Slav-Latin” or “Glagolitic Rite” in use in parts of the former Yugoslavia — including in Croatia — from time immemorial until the 1960’s), and it’s not due to lack of interest among the laity. Since 2008, various lay faithful of Zagreb, Croatia have been pressing for the application of Summorum Pontificum in their archdiocese, apparently to no avail. The complete correspondence of the Traditionalists of Zagreb with the archdiocesan officials and with the PCED can be found here (with English translations). The October 28, 2009 letter from the Archdiocese of Zagreb denying the request for a TLM of thirty faithful from 20 parishes is a particularly instructive example of the art of using the text of Summorum Pontificum in order to obscure its obvious meaning and to frustrate its implementation.

Today, the Croatian blog Toma Blizanac has published the following letter from the PCED:

Pontificia Commissio “Ecclesia Dei”

N. —
Vatican City, 25 November 2010

Dear Mr. —,

This Pontifical Commission would like to thank you for your kind letter of 8 November 2010.

This Pontifical Commission is able to inform you that after contacting His Eminence Josip Cardinal Bozanić, it has received the assurance of His Eminence that the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated in one of the churches in Zagreb.

With every good wish, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Mons. Guido Pozzo

If in Croatia… why not where you are?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. TJerome says:

    Looks like Cardinal Bozani got the message, loud and clear. This is great news

  2. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I have followed this case quite closely (for obvious reasons). While this is probably good news, I am nevertheless not without my doubts. The “Kaptol” (Chancery) in Zagreb has outright denied the spirit of Summorum Pontificum all along. I can imagine them taking advantage of the ambiguity in the phrase “that the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated in one of the churches in Zagreb”. As one of the commentor’s posted on Mr Blizanac’s blog: “I only hope that in three months you won’t have to write a letter posing the questions ‘When?'” (Nadam se samo da za tri mjeseca ne?eš morati pisati pismo u kojem ?eš postaviti pitanje: “Kada?”).

  3. UncleBlobb says:

    Laudetur Jesus Christus!

  4. Maltese says:

    In South Carolina, there is one regular Traditional Latin Mass, in the southeast corner of the state, in a small seaside parish in the diocese of Charleston. The only other regularly appointed TLM is in Mount Holly, North Carolina, by FSSPX. Catholics in this part of the South were once shunned by Protestants, now Traditional Catholics are shunned by their own.

  5. jorgepreble says:

    Their March 26th letter to the Ecclesia Dei Committee says:

    “There is a group of faithful in the Archdiocese of Zagreb willing to participate and support the regular celebration of mass in the extraordinary form. To our knowledge there are also priests capable (and even willing) to celebrate such masses. There is among others a very suitable church in *** with only one Sunday mass. All that is left for the Archbishop is to officially name a priest and declare appropriate time and place for public celebration of masses.”

    If there is a priest who is capable and willing isn’t that enough according to the Motu Proprio? What do they need the Archbishop for? The priest could go ahead and say it, right?

  6. becket1 says:

    Whoopteedoo!!. One church in the whole country. Aren’t we generous.

  7. ipadre says:

    Problem is, most churches in Croatia have been recovated. The high altars are gone and the free standing altars are at the edge of the top step into the sanctuary, which makes it impossible to celebrate ad orientem. I have though about this on my many trips to Crotia.

    Maybe I should take my portable Mass Cards and traveling 1962 Missale on my next trip and request to celebrate in the EF.

  8. Denis Crnkovic says:


    Indeed, Father, you should take your portable Altar Cards and travelling 1962 Missale! Get in touch with Mr Blizanac ahead of time to find a suitable church and celebrate the TLM for him and others. I don’t believe that — other than your licet— you would need any specific permission from the local bishop to celebrate a private EF Mass for my Croatian brethern, so deprived of the TLM.

    P.S. They are also in need of someone to teach them how to serve at the EF Masses.

  9. tonyballioni says:


    The Diocese of Charlotte, NC offers the TLM in all of its . If Charlotte is closer than Mount Holly, St. Ann’s offers it in Charlotte proper.

    Here is a list of those that the Diocese is said would be offering it 2 years ago. I checked and most of their websites confirm this.

  10. xavier217 says:

    Maltese, Prince of Peace in Taylors (Greenville) also has EF every Sunday and First Saturday.

  11. tzard says:

    Ipadre said:
    “The high altars are gone and the free standing altars are at the edge of the top step into the sanctuary, which makes it impossible to celebrate ad orientem” –

    In keeping with the spirit of this posting, it’s not impossible, just a little more difficult. Why not have the group build a portable platform to stand on over the stairs? A bit of creativity will do wonders.

    Let’s not the desire for the best keep them from obtaining the good. For it’s the Mass that’s important here, whether it be in St. Peters or over a portable table on a battlefield.

    Were these people in Croatia to get part-time in a less than perfect church, then it wouldn’t take much to get it into shape – even if you had to do it before every mass. =)

  12. šteta da nema.

    I’m sure Father Z has seen hits coming into this blog on EF Mass related posts not only from Croatia, but from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don’t blog nearly as much on the topic, yet google hits bring them in – from Zagreb and Rijeka mainly in Croatia, and from Mostar in Herzegovina and in the Sarajevo area of Bosnia (probably seminaries in each of those areas).

  13. Genna says:

    It’s good news and at least a start. In the UK, we’re mostly at the start – still – with the EF celebrated by a willing priest once a month usually on a Sunday afternoon at a church here and there. I understand that priests are not permitted to substitute the NO with the EF on a normal Sunday morning timetable.
    The metropolitan cathedral in Westminster has an EF once a month at 4pm on a Saturday, tucked away in the Lady Chapel and not advertised at the cathedral so you’d have to know about it by other means. Having it at that time places the EF Mass as an extra and not part of the Sunday obligation.
    The bishops say there is no call for the EF by the laity and current provision fulfils the need. But then they implied that the Pope’s visit would be a washout and did their best to lower people’s expectations. Somebody somewhere seems to be making a bit of a misjudgement about the laity.

  14. Henry Edwards says:

    Maltese, the Diocese of Charleston lists the following South Carolina “Latin Mass” schedule:

    Stella Maris, Sullivans Island – Sundays at 5:30 pm
    Prince of Peace, Taylors – Sundays at 11:00 am
    Good Shepherd, Columbia – First Sunday of the month at 12:00 Noon
    The Volunteer House, Charleston – Sundays at 11:30 am

    Sullivans Island is the coastal location you mentioned, Columbia is roughly in the center of the state, and Taylors is in its northeaster corner.

  15. Maltese says:

    Henry, thanks for the info. I did try Good Shepherd once, but the mass had been canceled. I guess my main contention is that a city the size of Charlotte, NC, with a metropolitan area of over 1,700,000 people, should be doing better to serve the sizable TLM-going population (with one mass, once a month, at 6pm on the first Saturday of the month, which is always very well attended.) There is definitely a large, “stable group,” who would attend every Sunday if afforded the opportunity. After all, Charlotte has a Vietnamese Catholic church, a plethora of Spanish masses, etc. But yet the folks who go to the mass of all ages, the mass which informed most of the world’s great Saints, are almost berated into feeling grateful for the one mass, once a month, at an off time, that we are “allowed” in a metropolitan area approaching 2 million people. This, I think, renders the city of Charlotte one of the least TLM-friendly larger cities in America. But I suppose we should be somewhat grateful as compared to the hitherto TLM-desolate country of Croatia!

  16. Jim Dorchak says:

    The Mass is offered at Stella Maris on Sullivans Island every Sunday, yes, and at Prince of Peace (almost every Sunday, and rarely on holidays, and sometimes not on Sunday as well). Point being call ahead and see if the Mass is really being offered before the drive to Prince of Peace. (on again off again sort of thingey at Prince of Peace).
    The other Masses in SC have been moved or discontinued since in some of those cases the Priest has been reassigned. We are all praying that those Priests will start saying the Mass at their new Parishes once they get settled in.
    Also I whould let you know that the Priest at St. Pauls in Spartanburg will be having the Mass said there on Christmas Day at 11am. (My boys will be serving that Mass). So there is growth, but it has been since 1992 that we have been asking. If you like feel free to call me 864 921-0009 and I can give you more info. Also yes there is a SSPX Mass in Mt. Holly and many from the upstate (and some of my friends from Hanahan) have attended on Sundays and over the Traditional Holidays since it is not availble here in upstate on those days. The Church there is small, but the Priest and the people there are very big hearted. The great thing about the SSPX in Mt. Holly is that they actually have a community that has a permanent home /facilites, and they are not “Borrowing” novos ordo facilites (ie… red headded step children), so you do not have that…..” they are using the gym for a pot luck after Mass when we need to be playing basketball” (on a Sunday…. instead of Mass).

  17. tonyballioni says:

    “one mass, once a month, at an off time, that we are “allowed” in a metropolitan area approaching 2 million people. This, I think, renders the city of Charlotte one of the least TLM-friendly larger cities in America.”

    Yes, but the geographic area of the Diocese of Charlotte is only 3% Catholic. Of that 3% if you get rid of those who don’t go to mass at all, the Spanish population that is more focused on getting the mass in Spanish (which it should be in some places that it isn’t…), and the good portion of the people who could really careless either way about the TLM, you are left with a small group to draw from.

    My point is, Bishop Jugis has done his best to encourage priests to say it in every vicarite of the Diocese. Could it be said more? Yes, but the bishop is not hostile to the implementation of the motu propio. One thing I would like to see would be his encouraging it to be used at least once a month at the cathedral like Bishop Burbridge did in Raleigh.

  18. xavier217 says:

    Sid, I think the reason Prince of Peace suspended EF masses during the summer was difficulties in maintaining the schola around vacations, etc.

  19. tonyballioni says:

    Also Sid, just a point of clarification, we do have one parish in North Carolina that offers the TLM every Sunday at 12, Sacred Heart in Dunn (part of the Diocese of Raleigh, not to be confused with Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh which offers it every 1st Sunday at 4:30).

  20. Sid says:

    Thanks, xavier217, for your clarification at 7 December 2010 at 1:02 pm.

  21. Maltese says:

    *If the MEF ever stops in NC, it will not be Liberals who are the guilty party. What priest wants to see facts about his parish and about his intentions misrepresented by a tiny minority of ungrateful and even pugnacious traditionalists?*

    Actually, it was liberals in the Church who stopped the TLM in the first place, it was vocal and “ungrateful and even pugnacious” Catholics, including FSSPX, who got it back into regular use in the Church, first through Ecclesia Dei, and now with Summorum Pontificum. It is lunacy to think those documents would have been written sans SSPX. It is also lunacy to think that we would have even a smidgeon of the TLMs we currently have without a very vocal and indignant, tiny minority of Traditionalists.

    I have every reason to believe that the pastor at St. Ann’s is a fine Priest. My only point was that many Traditionalists are made to feel that we must grovel and take the crumbs we are given, while almost every other group is accommodated, even many of those opposed to the traditions of the Church.

  22. Jim Dorchak says:


    Two words:
    Low Mass

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