A bishop effectively blasts priests for disregarding Summorum Pontificum

My experience of Italian bishops did not prepare me for the surprise of reading something over at NLM. They have a translation of a letter of an Italian bishop to the priests of that diocese pretty much upbraiding them for not implementing, or being at least respectful about, Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum.

Bishop Mario Oliveri of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia!

Here is a sample:

Dear Priests and Deacons,

It is with much bitterness of spirit that I have found that many of you have not taken up or made a right attitude of mind and heart toward the possibility given to the faithful by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Pope Benedict XVI, of the celebration of Holy Mass “in the extraordinary form” according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, promulgated in 1962.

In the “Three days of the Clergy” of September 2007, I indicated with strength and clarity what is the value and the true meaning of the Motu Proprio, how we should interpret it and how we should accept it, with a mind that is open to the magisterial content of the document and with a ready willingness of a convinced obedience. The position taken by the Bishop was not missing its calm authority, strengthened by his full concordance with a solemn act of the Supreme Pontiff. The position of the Bishop was founded by reason of his theological argument on the nature of the Divine Liturgy, the immutability of the substance in its supernatural contents, and was also based on surveys of the practical, concrete, good sense of the Church.

The adverse reactions to the motu proprio and the theological and practical guidance of the bishop are almost always dictated by emotional and superficial theological reasoning, i.e. a rather poor and shortsighted “theological” vision, that is not part of and which does not reach the true nature of the things which concern the Faith and the work the Church’s sacramental life, that is not fed by the perennial Tradition of the Church, which looks at rather marginal aspects or at least incomplete issues.


You can read the rest there.

WDTPRS Kudos to Bp. Oliveri.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    It is always wonderful to see a bishop who knows how to bish. May he be blessed for doing what’s right!

  2. Bryan Boyle says:

    Wow. He didn’t even put the velvet glove on.

    Or…to use an ‘Americanism’, he taking his clergy collectively out to the woodshed. Would that more had the strength to do so. Could it be that our prayers for our bishops is having an effect? The Holy Spirit works in wondrous ways…

  3. FrCharles says:

    Wow. That’s strong. I’m moving to Italy in the spring, and I’m definitely packing my 1962 Missale Romano-Seraphicum.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    This is fantastic, but how about a letter to the recalcitrant bishops?

  5. NoTambourines says:


    “The adverse reactions to the motu proprio and the theological and practical guidance of the bishop are almost always dictated by emotional and superficial theological reasoning”

    It does seem like there is a selective fear of change at work at times.

  6. Jon says:

    Today Bishop Moraglia was appointed Patriarch of Venice. Now this.

    Things are looking up!

  7. TravelerWithChrist says:

    Deo Gratias!!!

    Let us continue to pray for our priests and bishops, and Papa, but also for our Church, that she may be more humble and holy, and adhere to ALL the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  8. irishgirl says:

    I’m with you, DavidJ-this Bishop DOES know how to ‘bish’!
    Way to go, Your Excellency!

  9. FranzJosf says:

    “the immutability of the substance in its supernatural contents”

    Wow. Excellent. Strong. True.

  10. digdigby says:

    Yet another tantalizing aside about ‘Italian bishops’. We are your faithful readers, Father Z….what is the story there? You needn’t be uncharitable and name names.

  11. Liam says:

    Bishop Oliveri is certainly to be thanked and commended for his letter. Outstanding!

    That said, what is it with Italian clergy and their attachment to the milieu of Paul VI? They seem to go out of their way to be progressive in theology and ritual while also being intolerant of anything traditional.

    What gives with that?!

  12. cathdeac says:

    Purtroppo Mons. Olivieri è l’unico tra i quasi 400 vescovi italiani che si esprime in questo modo sul Summorum Pontificum.
    Unfortunately Msgr. Olivieri is the only one among the almost 400 Italian bishops who expresses himself this way about the Summorum Pontificum.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Can we pray he is the next Pope?

  14. AnnAsher says:

    Thumbs up. Like button. Plus plus plus!

Comments are closed.