Many people have written to me asking about the rumors that the upcoming Instruction about Summorum Pontificum and asking if the Instruction will undermine the Holy Father’s provisions. I wrote about this Instruction here, and there was considerable discussion about it at that time, toward the end of January.
First, I am not at liberty at the moment to talk about it too much yet. Second, I am thinking and digging. There may be something to the rumors. Or, this may be a fluctus in simpulo.
With that in mind, I will say this, and I think you readers ought to take this to heart.
No matter what I might add to this discussion in the near future, this will be the most important thing I have to contribute.
I warmly invite other Catholic bloggers interested in Summorum Pontificum to pick this up.
If you are concerned about what might happen to Summorum Pontificum, pray and fast. Don’t whine. Don’t panic. Don’t fret. Don’t behave like a suddenly headless chicken.
Do what a committed Catholic warrior would do for a cause that is dear.
- Go to church and spend time before the Blessed Sacrament every day until this resolves one way or another.
- Ask Jesus to either stop the Instruction or to make Summorum Pontificum even better.
- Pray the Rosary for the Holy Father.
- Ask our Blessed Mother to move the Holy Father to keep Summorum Pontificum strong, to make it even stronger.
- Pray to the Holy Father’s guardian angels constantly during the day asking them to strengthen him and to weaken his many enemies, some of them very close to him.
- Fast and offer your hunger – real hunger, don’t fool around if you are going to do this – for the Holy Father’s well-being and firm resolve.
Be prudent about fasting, of course, especially if others rely on you and you have health concerns. But if you are young and healthy, fast.
To help you with the Rosary part, and to bring some unity to your praying together, I have changed the playlist on the live stream of Fr. Z TV/RADIO SABINA on Ustream to have just chaplets of the Rosary in Latin followed by the Litany of Loreto and, between chaplets and litanies, prayers Pro Pontifice – for the Pope – in Latin and English.
No music right now on the stream. Just constant Rosary and prayers for the Pope. The webcams are still on the bird feeders and sometimes my office. Please note that I cannot control the ads that might pop up on that Ustream stream unless I pay Ustream a deeply and stupidly high fee.
Don’t whine. Don’t fret. Pray and fast. There may be more to do, but start with that. Before you do anything else, start praying and fasting.
Well said. Simply, well said.
Thank you Father for the cautious and reasoned post on this. Will offer what sacrifices and prayers I can.
I pray daily for our Holy Father during my morning prayers, that his efforts find favor with God, and that he do God’s will in all things. I pray that he be protected from his enemies within and without. Then I say an Our Father, 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be, followed by – Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for him. St. Joseph, Patron of the universal Church, pray for him. St. Peter, pray for him. I have had concern for him for a long while, and for our Church. I’ll take your advice and do more.
My prediction is that the Instruction will limit celebrations of the EF exclusively to the times between midnight on the morning of January 1 until 11:59 PM on the night of December 31st, every year until Christ comes again, and will only be celebrated in parishes containing at least one member of the human race.
I feel like a soldier that’s been given marching orders. How can you say, “No”? A Rosary every day for this one intention…….
Would you mind posting a link to what your wrote about the Instruction in January?
I am so very grateful for Summorum Pontificum. It gives hope and peace. Praying for it and for the Holy Fr., and for all who dearly love the TLM. Thank you so much Fr.
If anyone has interest in making a prayer pledge you can do so here.
Mary Mother of God Keep Summorum Pontificum Strong
Pray for your local TLM priest. Talk with him. Support the parish financially.
I was never in the habit of wearing hats as a boy, but I’ve recently started wearing them.
1. I have something to tip to acknowledge a lady.
2. I have some to remove before praying, which helps set prayer apart from mundane activities.
3. A hat helps keep the sun out of my eyes.
The downside is that I was taught a gentleman never wears a hat indoors, but I work indoors and don’t get outside as much as I’d like. This is pushing me to adopt the tatami rule: that I can wear a hat anywhere a Japanese person could wear shoes (including schools, shops, and workplaces), but I need to remove my hat where they would remove their shoes (homes, sacred spaces, even fancy restaurants).
Going to pray. I really wish my iPad had flash capability so I could join the rosary stream.
Well, my comment would have made more sense in response to the question below. :-P
The feast of St. Joseph is March 19. There is a tradition of a 30-day novena to him, patron of the Universal Church. That novena starts on the 18th of this month, I believe. The novena is posted on many websites. It would work well for this intention, in addition to the Rosary and fasting.
Our Holy Father some years ago:
“Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. ”
Now we know where are his fiercest ennemies:
“his many enemies, some of them very close to him”.
Yes, in the Vatican
Sounds like the wolves are howling again. We always need to pray for the pope, not just in times of crisis or when we feel threatened. As God’s representative on Earth he is under constant attack.
As a convert who learned very little from his RCIA experience, and who attends a liberal parish, I have to struggle to gather up all the treasures of my faith that have been hidden from me. This blog and a few others have aided me greatly. In addition, I have been spending some money on a small library, a recent addition to which, Blessed Be God by PCP, contains hundreds of traditional devotions; a few of these apply to this situation. I now pray these whenever I can for this special intention as set out by Father Z, above. Here they are (sorry, I don’t have Latin versions), just in case they may appeal to others (also, I’m pretty sure typing them out counts as prayer too!):
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THE CHURCH
O Holy Spirit, Creator, propitiously help the Catholic Church, and by thy heavenly power strengthen and confirm it against the assaults of the enemy; by Thy charity and grace renew the spirit of Thy servants whom Thou hast anointed, that in Thee they may glorify the Father and His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH FOR THE CHURCH (NB: St. Joseph is also the patron saint of Canada)
To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and, having implored the help of thy thrice-holy spouse, we now with heart filled with confidence earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His Blood, and wilt succour us in our need by thy power and strength.
Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness; and as thou didst once rescue the Child Jesus from great peril to His life, so now defend God’s holy Church from the snares of the enemy and all adversity. Finally, shield every one of us with thy patronage, that, imitating thy example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE POPE
Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict. The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Our Father, Hail Mary, etc.
PRAYER FOR HERETICS AND UNBELIEVERS
Lord Jesus, most merciful Saviour of the world, we humbly beseech Thee, by Thy most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Thy fold, as well as those why are held by the darkness of error, may be converted to Thee, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.
Pray for the Pope
Posted on 13 March 2010 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat
eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Pater Noster…, Ave Maria….
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum
Benedictum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti,
propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo,
quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi
credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum
Could someone tell me what is going on in plain english?.
A new document is expected to be issued from the Vatican (from the Pope?) which would clarify some finer points of the Pope’s Motu Proprio ‘Summorum Pontificum’. Some individuals are suggesting that they know from “insider information” that the new document will have certain provision that might further restrict the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite liturgy.
Where I live you might as well toss out Summorum Pontificum: it’s as if it had never happened. But I sympathize with those who are concerned about it.
Thank you very much for the concise post. Like Becket, I was wondering what this was about.
A propitious prayer for this purpose might Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to St. Joseph:
” . . . . . we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood . . . . . ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness . . . . .”
Not surprised on bit. With that being said, my bags are packed, so to say, for the Antiochian, or Greek Orthodox Church. Just give the final word, with this being true, and off I go. I’m sick of playing this game. I’m not going to live in a ghetto, while these progressives trample about thinking they represent everything that is Roman Catholic, and watching them strip the Roman Catholic youth of their liturgical heritage and identity. [This comment is irresponsible. The document isn’t even out yet and you have made this determination and then made it public. Not good.]
So the same “wolves” whom are supposedly being feared here are the ones making the leaks about the upcoming document? I went back and read a number of the posts from March – June of 2007 on various blogs. Some “insiders” at that time were predicting that it would only allow Priests to say the Mass privately. Other “inside” information was that the entire document had been scuttled and was not going to be issued at all. And yet other “insiders” …supposedly VERY close to the Pope, were saying that it would include specific language applying it only to those currently using that liturgical form, specifically the SSPX. None of these turned out to be true.
Does anybody actually KNOW what this document is going to say, and are the supposed sources being cited reliable, or are they from opposition voices who are trying to sow discord as they did before July 2007?
Praying and fasting for this intention is an excellent idea. But not only for the Holy Father, but also for those of a more liberal mindset in the Church. And I’ll pray, too, for traditional Catholics who have not fully appreciated SP, and who contintue to disparage those in the visible Church who have taken advantage of the provisons of SP. What Our Lord provideth, He can also taketh away, if we are ungrateful, prideful, impatient, and uncharitable.
If indeed SP is restricted then IMO that will pretty much end any real chance that the pre-V2 liturgy will survive longterm in the church.
To begin with, SP was somewhat restrictive to start with. So much so that many bishops have all but ignored it.
In the diocese I live in the EF was allowed in a small chapel at the far end of the diocese. Initially the attendance was quite small. Since then it has dropped to next to nothing and the EF will probably be discontinued in this diocese.
Again, the bishop here was able to finesse it.
If true this is the Vatican waving the white flag on this. IMO. Much as they seem to be doing on the visitation of women’s religious orders in the US.
This certainly would hurt what small chance there is for an reunion of the SPPX.
Basically this would be a vindication for the post-conciliar model. [I am not sure that follows.] And coming during the Papacy of a Pope who appreciates the pre-V2 liturgy moreso than other recent Popes. Given that the church is getting to the point as time passes where we will soon have Popes who never knew of celebrated the old litury it’s not inconceivable that this would be the beginning of the end of that form.
I understand your concern. Going to the Orthodox Church in order to escape disappointment or and other fears is not in your best interest. We Orthodox have our own unique set of problems that can seem as insurmountable as what you fear. Stay the course and trust in the Holy Spirit, at least for the time being. Generally I have found converts to Orthodoxy who left their former churches without a clear understanding of theology, were as miserable with us as with their former churches. Again trust in God and keep a level head My prayers and best wishes to all who are troubled.
Maybe there is good news. perhaps the Pope is going to all ow the use of the 1965 Missal, minus the you whos. lol.
“Where I live you might as well toss out Summorum Pontificum: it’s as if it had never happened.”
Is it? How so?
I have the impression that a number of Catholics who adhere to the pre-Conciliar Mass have either misread “Summorum Pontificum Cura” or have not read it at all, but have, either way, decided that this motu proprio is something that goes farther on behalf of Tridentine Mass adherents than it really does.
“Summorum Pontificum Cura” does not tell bishops and pastors to start celebrating the pre-Conciliar Mass again. It doesn’t even tell them to celebrate it side-by-side with celebrations according to the current Missal as a matter of course. The only thing the pope is requesting in this motu proprio (the words “should” and “request” are employed rather than “must” and “command”) is that pastors and bishops accomodate, IF POSSIBLE (if there are no priests available in the parish/diocese who are willing or who actually know how to celebrate the pre-Conciliar liturgy, then it is, obviously, NOT POSSIBLE)–and if such accomodation does not sow discord but actually favors the unity of the parish or diocese (good luck)–“group(s) of the faithful” who are manifestly attached to the pre-Conciliar rite who actually approach to request its regular celebration at some venue or other.
If pastors or bishops cannot accomodate the requests of groups of the faithful who are attached to the Tridentine form, for one legitimate reason or another, or if they have the ability to accomodate them, but elect not to because–in keeping with the advice offered by the Pope in the motu proprio–they determine that to do so would promote discord within a parish/diocese and would not favour “the unity of the whole Church”, then these groups are given the right to appeal over their bishops’ heads to the Holy See, via Ecclesia Dei.
“Summorum Pontificum” decrees that the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal constitutes but an (yes “an”, not “the”) “extraordinary expression” of the Roman Rite. “Extraordinary” implies that to celebrate Mass this way is not meant to be the norm, but rather a thing that is “out of the ordinary”.
A number of people, it is clear to me, have seized upon that phrase “extraordinary expression” and have mistreated it to mean “side-by-side expression” rather than “out of the ordinary expression”. And what is the “ordinary expression”, then? “Summorum Pontificum” decrees that the Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and later revised by Pope John Paul II constitutes the “ordinary” form of the Roman Rite.
So what new has really been declared? Not much. It is decreed that the current Missal is to be the way the Church ordinarily celebrates the Roman Rite, and the use of the 1962 Missal is to continue to be considered “extraordinary”. That is the essential decree of “Summorum Pontificum”. The motu proprio says much more, therefore, about the Holy Father’s fidelity to the current liturgy than it does to the pre-Conciliar liturgy. It seems odd to me, then, that a motu proprio declaring that the Mass of Pope Paul VI constitutes the only ordinary expression of the Roman Rite should be waved as a banner by Tridentine Mass proponents. “Summorum Pontificum” upholds the “new” Mass, and restates the idea that the “old” Mass is just that.
I do not understand the expressed concern, therefore, that some subsequent “Instruction” on this motu proprio might offer loopholes by which pastors and bishops could avoid providing the pre-Conciliar liturgy in their parishes or diocese, since there is nothing in the motu proprio that compells them to do it to begin with. The motu proprio, itself, provides all the “loopholes” that a pastor or a bishop would need, if this were actually a command to re-establish the regular celebration of the pre-Conciliar Mass, which it clearly is not.
What more, do we suppose, could the Vatican actually do to this document by way of an “Instruction” that would give bishops and priests who don’t want to offer the pre-Conciliar Mass a greater advantage?
Finally, any provisions enumerated in “Summorum Pontificum” revolve around groups of the faithful who actually form and subsequently request the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Absent that factor, the whole motu proprio is moot. How many parishes out there actually see groups of Tridentine Mass adherents forming and approaching the pastor to accomodate their needs? It isn’t exactly a widespread phenomenon.
The complaints, therefore, that Tridentine Masses are not being provided for people who aren’t approaching and aren’t asking for them leave me flummoxed. It reminds me of the complaints one used to hear that there aren’t enough black priests in the Catholic Church in America, as if the rarity points to prejudice rather than to the fact that there aren’t many black Catholics in America, much less black young men joining the seminaries.
A motu proprio cannot be implemented if the situation it seeks to correct doesn’t exist in the first place.
Some may be either celebrating or losing their heads–whichever applies—prematurely. The only concrete restriction in the current draft that I have seen quoted is a clarification that Summorum Pontificum applies only to the Roman rite, and not to non-Roman western rites such as the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Braga, Sarum rites (which most have never seen or perhaps even heard of).
By itself, this clarification would have no effect on the glorious flowering of the TLM that is taking place in some (if not all) places.
I want to know what canon law there is that will allow me to make a “spiritual communion” on Sundays, versus going to a NO Mass?. Or a disspensation.
Hiermonk Gregory, I have been going to Vespers at a local Orthodox church, off and on for the past 15 years. I am aware of the problems, and I am aware of the theology of the Byzantine tradition both Catholic and Orthodox. I have also payed a bit of attention to the Coptic tradition as well. I wouldn’t be going to escape disappointment. I would be going to live the rest of my life as a Christian who wants to practice his faith and live it, in a traditional Church, that also has Apostolic succession. In a liturgical tradition that is available in many places and is heaven on earth as Prince Vladimir of Kiev once said. Not somewhere where I have to drive 100 miles one way to practice my faith in a little corner chapel at 2:00pm, provided it’s granted .
Sorry for my ranting Fr Z, but it seems that the bricks you mention get heavier and heavier with each passing day. And I already have a bad back.
You raise issues in your post which are very true. For one, a close reading of SP shows that it gives a go ahead to those pastors who are ready, willing, and able to offer the EF Mass. It does absolutely nothing to encourage or promote the EF among those faithful or priests who do not want it.
Also, as a priest, I can tell you positively that the vast majority of priests (plus 90%) simply do not possess the knowledge of Latin or ability to offer the EF Mass. I have often invited priests who seem inclined to learn Latin and receive training from me to begin learning the EF. Although they will politely say they would like to do this, I never hear from them again on the matter.
There is the dilemma. Human nature tends to what is less difficult, simple, and takes the least effort. On that level, the Ordinary Form of Mass is always going to have an edge over the EF. Many faithful say, “if only Father began offering the EF, he would become enthusiastic about it.” But if you are not enthusiastic to begin with, as a priest you are likely not going to make the extraordinary efforts it takes to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.
Debating the merits of Summorum Pontificum is interesting. I did make a recommendation at the top, however. I hope people do not lose sight of that.
I will be storming the gates of heaven with my pleas and intercessionary prayer. In fact, I am leaving in the next few minutes for the TLM at Holy Innocents in Manhattan at 6:00 tonight, and will be praying there. For Randii, I can only think you have never been to a TLM, or if you have, you have not opened yourself to the beauty and splendor that it is.
I believe it is Satan himself who wants to shut this Mass down, and it is up to us who love it so to intercede so that it does not happen. We are in a spiritual war, and we must put on all the armour God has given us.
I think a general penitential way of living is incumbent on us (without question, I am not a good example of this) given the state of affairs in our modern era.
A couple thoughts on this. First, the idea in using Summorum Pontificum as a banner of sorts I think stems from the obvious initial boost that the Usus Antiquior received relative to the liturgical desert of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
However, I agree with you, Centristian. The overall flavor is not a strategic counter-push to the entrenched New Mass. One could make the argument that this was the best we could hope for (e.g., doing too much at once would have been negative.)
For me, it all comes down to the question of Salvation: Is the New Mass really better serving humanity as an intercessory plea and offering, as an edifying event, and overall keystone to Church life than if we retained the Old Mass in its entirety? Of course we don’t know, but I have a strong opinion.
Unfortunately, the Old Mass was never promoted beyond very limited enclaves. Indeed, if I had to guess, I would venture to say that participation has come down from the peak since the issuance of SP, which gives cover for any more restrictive rules governing.
Since I believe that the old liturgy fits crisply with the older overall practice of Catholicism, it is important to me that we not forget there is more than just the rite itself. Sadly, as the rite erodes, so goes a genuine sensus catholicus.
Oremus, non effuttemus.
God bless you on your spiritual journey. Please be assured of my prayers on your behalf.
More news from Rorate Caeli entitled: “Ghettoization must start in Ordination”
“Very few points of the current draft of the Instruction for the Application of Summorum Pontificum seem to be available to us. The first we mentioned, on blocking the application of the liberality of the motu proprio to all non-Roman Western rites and uses may seem minor – yet it is quite significant in what it reveals: an interpretation of the rights recognized by Summorum as privileges or “indults” that can be curtailed.
Our revelation today, made jointly with Messa in Latino, could seem even more limited in its extension – but it certainly is much, much, more serious and insidious in the extent it shows that the anti-Summorum field has infiltrated the composition of the Instruction. In short, the Instruction, in its current draft, will explicitly prevent Bishops from using the Traditional Rite of Holy Orders.
There will be two exceptions. One, dedicated to the those institutes (the ‘Ecclesia Dei’ institutes) and particular Churches dedicated exclusively to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The other exception is that the Bishop that desires to ordain a certain seminarian in the ancient Rite will have to ask prior permission to Rome (to the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’), which will then evaluate if said permission should be granted or not. ”
They end the blog with this:
“Since we always wish our readers to know all sides in all matters mentioned by us, we leave you with a partial confirmation (and partial denial) of the Instruction, by Andrea Tornielli (in Italian, confirming both our bits of information, but trying to paint the overall aspect of the Instruction as positive, as a reinforcement of Summorum Pontificum). ”
It’s all getting a bit confusing to me, but I just don’t understand why the Mass celebrated by the Church for 1500 years, which produced probably millions of saints, should suddenly be restricted or outlawed in any way. It is incredibly upsetting.
Brooklyn: Did you visit the Blessed Sacrament today yet? Or pray the rosary? Do you have any plans to fast and pray for the Holy Father?
Yes, Father, I absolutely did. I prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament yesterday, as I will again today, I offered up the Mass yesterday for this, and I am praying for the Holy Father all the time. I am actually fasting today, as I do every Friday, and this is one of the things for which I am offering it up. But I still can’t help but be upset when I see this beautiful Mass, handed down through the centuries, being attacked.
Brooklyn: Thank you for doing that! That is the very best approach we have.
Well said, Father! Thank you for being once again a voice of sanity.
Er, not that you aren’t always. I mean that once again people are freaking out and once again you are consoling them and directing their concerns into appropriate channels. :-D
The other exception is that the Bishop that desires to ordain a certain seminarian in the ancient Rite will have to ask prior permission to Rome (to the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’), which will then evaluate if said permission should be granted or not. ”
This makes no sense. First, it undermines the authority of the ordinary, which Vat II sought to enhance. Second, why would a bishop need to ask permission of the Commission charged to extend use of the 1962 Missal and its accompanying rites?
These documents go through many drafts, with many changes. My GUESS is that such info is disinformation, intending to influence the document or–perhaps more importantly–its reception. (From certain inaccurate comments made by bishops, we know that many have not actually read Summorum Pontificum). It might have happened like this: A few powerful German or French bishops communicate with or visit Ecclesia Dei, recommending that certain restrictions be in the Instruction. Then word is put out through sources that such restrictions will be in the Instruction. A similar MO was used before Humanae Vitae was promulgated.
Was there anything similar like this going on after Pope Pius V instituted the Tridentine Mass? Were there “indult masses” for people to use the pre-Tridentine masses in the “aftermath” of the Council of Trent? Thanks
I don’t know what to think of this situation. SP is less than four years old and relates to a Mass close to Pope Benedict’s heart: why would he allow it to be dismantled? I will spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacraments and offer some Rosaries for the Pope. Fasting is tough, but hey, I love the EF, so I’ll give that a shot too.
For what it’s worth, NLM today posted a link to an online petition entitled an “International Appeal in Defense of Summorum Pontificum.” I’m always a little leery of online petitions, but it would be nice to see thousands of people around the world express their love for the EF. Here’s a link to the petition. As of 3:30 EST, just under 2000 people have signed.
Was there anything similar like this going on after Pope Pius V instituted the Tridentine Mass? Were there “indult masses” for people to use the pre-Tridentine masses in the “aftermath” of the Council of Trent? Thanks
There is no such thing as the Tridentine Mass. What you’re referring to is Pius V’s promulgation of an updated the Roman Missal. He did not institute a mass. He imposed the Roman Rite on the Latin Church.
Those rites that were at least 200 years old were still permitted.
robtbrown: When I said “Tridentine Mass” I meant the mass according to Pope St. Pius V’s Roman Missal.
Thanks for the information about rites more than 200 years old at the time.