I am on the road, and it is hard for me to work with this, but here is a first go at something which I think is pretty important.
The following article copy-pasted from the PDF of the 8/23/2012 edition of The Wanderer.
Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei…
Issues Response Favorable To Traditionalists
A bishop who wishes to remain anonymous recently submitted two dubia to the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission [Actually, it’s PCED.], regarding the interpretation of “legitimacy” in the 2011 instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 19. The response from the commission is conciliatory to hard-line traditionalist groups [ehem… and not so “hard line” also. Who wrote this?] such as the SSPX, because Rome is only requiring devotees of the Extraordinary Form Mass to acknowledge that the Ordinary Form is “legitimate” from the standpoint of human (ecclesiastical) law, not necessarily from the standpoint of divine law. [That seemed reasonable to me, since Summorum Pontificum is a juridical document.] It also means Rome is not requiring Catholics who want access to the Extraordinary Form Mass to admit that such innovations as altar girls and Communion in the hand are acceptable in God’s sight. We reprint below the letter submitted by the bishop and the response of the pontifical commission.
The author of the bishop’s letter is a retired theology professor. He passed that letter and the Roman response to The Wanderer after the response was forwarded to him by the bishop concerned.
Two Dubia Submitted To The Pontifical Commission [Alas, we don’t have the date, though I think we can assume that it was fairly recent.]
In article 19 of the commission’s instruction of April 30, 2011, UniversaeEcclesiae (UE), it is laid down that those Catholics who desire celebrations of the Eucharist in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (using the 1962 Missal) may not support, or be members of, any groups which “challenge the validity or legitimacy” (validitatem vel legitimitatem impugnent) of the ordinary form.
While very few still question the validity of Mass celebrated with the reformed Roman Missal, certain prominent “traditionalist” groups, individuals, and publications have been openly and defiantly challenging its legitimacy. [In a nutshell, while most will admit that Paul VI had the juridical, legislative authority to impose the Novus Ordo, he didn’t have the – let’s put it this way – moral or even religious authority. He had the right/power but he didn’t really have the right.] However, there often appears to be confusion and conflicting assumptions in these circles as to how, precisely, the latter word is to be understood. As a result, it is not always clear to those priests wishing to serve Catholics attached to the traditional liturgy whether or not some of these folks are in fact in compliance with this requirement of the Apostolic See enunciated in UE, n. 19.
In order, therefore, to clarify this matter and facilitate a consistent pastoral application of article 19, could the Commission graciously consider and respond to the following two dubia? [He set this up well.]
1. Whether legitimitas in UE, article 19, is to be understood as meaning:
(a) duly promulgated by appropriate procedures of ecclesiastical law (ius ecclesiasticum); [let’s call that 1A] or
(b) in accord with both ecclesiastical law and divine law (ius divinum), that is, neither doctrinally unorthodox nor otherwise displeasing to God. [1B]
2. If (b) above represents the mind of the Commission in regard to the meaning of legitimitas, whether UE, n. 19 is then to be understood as allowing access to Mass in the extraordinary form:
(a) only to those Catholics who do not challenge the legitimacy of any specific text or practice whatsoever that has been duly approved by either universal or local ecclesiastical law for use in celebrating the ordinary form; [altar girls, Communion in the hand, etc. – 2A] or
(b) to those faithful mentioned in (a) [2A] and also to those who acknowledge in principle the legitimacy of Masses celebrated according to the reformed Roman Missal and its General Instruction, but not the legitimacy of certain specific practices which, while not mandated therein, are permitted as options by universal or local liturgical law. [altar girls, Communion in the hand, EMHC’s, etc., are all permitted. They are actually deviations from the norm (i.e. male only service, Communion on the tongue, distribution by clergy, etc.]
The second dubium has in mind those many traditionally inclined Catholics who accept the legitimacy (in sense l [b] above [the Novus Ordo is “legitimate” by both Church law and divine law]) of ordinary-form Masses in which more traditional options are used, [I am not sure the questioner gets this wording right here, but go on…] but who regard as wrong and displeasing to God certain practices which were for many centuries universally disapproved and forbidden by the Church but which are now permitted by the local liturgical law of many or most dioceses or episcopal conferences (e.g., Communion given in the hand, female altar service, and the use of extraordinary lay ministers of Communion). [Clear?]
Pontificia Commissio Ecclesia Dei
Prot. 156/2009 [WOAH 2009? This goes back a while. So, the questions raised were raised a long time ago and were recast in a new form after UE came out, or the PCED decided to economize and not open another protocol number and use a new folder. If it were not something that was a continuation, it would have a protocol of 2012. Anyway, Father’s tired and his brain hurts.]
Vatican City, 23 May 2012
This Pontifical Commission has received, via your Excellency’s good offices, a copy of a correspondence from [name blacked out] placing before the Commission two dubia as to the interpretation of article 19 of this Commission’s Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.
The first [dubium] asked whether legitimas in UE, article 19, is to be understood as meaning:
(a) Duly promulgated by appropriate procedures of ecclesiastical law (ius ecclesiasticum); or
(b) In accord with both ecclesiastical law and divine law (ius divinum), that is, neither doctrinally unorthodox nor otherwise displeasing to God.
This Pontifical Commission would limit itself to saying that legitimas is to be understood in the sense of 1(a). The second [dubium] is responded to by this answer. [Interesting. They answer the 1st dubium. Instead of then going on to say to the 2nd dubium either yes or no explicitly, the response says no (that is, it is not to be considered “legitimate” also in the sense of ius divinum, that is, stick with the answer we just gave you. In other words, it is A (ius ecclesiasticum and not also ius divinum) but we don’t want to go into the weeds.]
With the hope that Your Excellency will communicate the contents of this letter to the individual concerned, this Pontifical Commission takes this opportunity to renew its sentiments of esteem.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Mons. Guido Pozzo
My impression is “When you get the answer you want, don’t keep asking.” The PCED answered ius ecclesiasticum (at least) and then stopped. “‘Shut up!’, they explained.”, isn’t quite it, but I’ll take it.
By this response, the PCED is clarifying that those who want the older form of Mass do NOT have to admit that practices such as Communion in the hand, or altar girls, or EMHCs, etc., are good. They might be legal, but they might also be abominations in the sight of God … depending on your point of view. Furthermore, a priest or a bishop cannot say “Because your group, over there at St. Cunigunda’s in Frostbite Falls, denies the ‘legitimacy’ of altar girls, you therefore do not quality as a stable group that can ask for the Extraordinary Form.”