PODCAzT 119: Instruction “Universae Ecclesiae”

In this PODCAzT we listen to the Instruction issued by the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI.

At the beginning I have an introduction to give us some context.  I read in Latin only title and the very first paragraph, to get a sound of the “incipit”, which gives the Instruction its title.  I give you some points to listen for along the way.  I then read the whole Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, with the references, but not reading the footnotes.  I have a wrap up with addition observations about juridical force of the Instruction, and the date of its implementation.

There are mini-rants along the way.


I will have to correct a point in the PODCAzT.

As far as the juridical force of the Instruction is concerned: I had thought originally that, since there is no precise date indicated for it going it force (Summorum Pontificum explicitly stated 14 September) it had to be in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis and it would go into effect in 3 months, the usual vacatio, after promulgation.  However, since this is an Instruction, it falls under the norms of canon 34.  As such, this Instruction requires no promulgation, or vacatio legis – it binds immediately, from the moment of its notification, according to the norms of canons 54-56, and specifically, canon 54, 2: “for a singular decree to be enforceable, it must be made known by a lawful document in accordance with the law” – this Instruction has already been sent, in written form, to the Bishops of the Latin Church, this it is in force NOW.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. SimpleCatholic says:

    on the PCED’s webpage (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/ced_index.htm) there is a note about a redaction to UE, but, not surprisingly, the link to even the italian version of the redactional note doesn’t work….. Fr. Z – any thoughts on what this might be about?

  2. meunke says:

    I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if many NCR voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

    I feel something AMAZING has happened!

  3. disco says:

    This is fantastic news indeed. Father you mentioned that it might be several months before this goes into effect… But do you think it would be okay for priests offering the extraordinary form to refuse to give communion in the hand immediately?

  4. CatherineC says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z!

  5. Patti Day says:

    Thank you Father Z. This helps me to better grasp what is happening within the church since my return. I never would have understood as much without your introduction and remarks as I read along. It’s exhilarating.

  6. SimonDodd says:

    I wonder what (if anything) the critics will make of its originating with PCED rather than the Pope. The authority of the curia seems to be an underdeveloped topic in (English) literature; I’ve only seen a couple of books on it, and both were fairly slim. Nevertheless, I would think we must infer a certain hierarchy of documents. A curial document approved in forma specifica (e.g. Ecclesiae de mysterio) must carry greater authority than one simply approved for publication—the distinction must make a difference. Cf. Beal, Coriden, & Green Commentary 480 (2000). Likewise, a curial document with papal approval (e.g. UE) must carry greater authority than one without it (e.g. dicasterial rescripts): if it’s a wash, why badger a busy pontiff for his approval? To my mind, anything from the curia is owed significant deference, but this hierarchy of authority is clearly implied, appears to be undertheorized, and can predictably be used as an excuse for ignoring directives such as this. Are there non-English works which evaluate these distinctions, or perhaps English works that I’ve missed?

  7. Temple says:

    Pray that the good work that has been done in some seminaries in regards to trying to overcome the hang-ups and dark legends surrounding the EF of the Mass may continue. I have heard that the seminary in St. Louis has done a fine job, but grumblings from the disgruntled and rebellious may lead to mitigation, if we do not pray for and encourage those in charge of their formation that it is not the EF that causes division, but rather those who are not one with Peter.

  8. mlwalker1972 says:

    First, I would like to say I am delighted with this instruction :) The Holy Father has cleared so many obstacles out of the way of the Traditional Latin Mass since his ascent to the papacy! Now, for us who love the TLM, we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work, sharing our love of the Mass with others. I found a coworker who also loves the TLM, which is pretty neat in a small group (well, a small team in a large corporation, anyway). We were both waiting anxiously for this instruction today!

    Father Z, may I ask what music you used to introduce your podcast? I really like it, and would love to buy a copy.

  9. APX says:

    what music you used to introduce your podcast? I really like it, and would love to buy a copy.

    It’s the opening titles from the movie, John Adams, composed by Robert Lane and Joseph Vitarelli. I agree; it’s a gooder.

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