Summorum Pontificum FINALLY in modern languages on Vatican website. (It only took 6 years.)

Some people have of late been concerned that Pope Francis and his minions were on the verge of overturning Pope Benedict’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum (aka The Emancipation Proclamation).  Summorum Pontificum is arguably one of the most important, long-reaching acts of Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

For years we have in wonder, and not a little scorn, seen that on the Vatican website Summorum Pontificum was provided only in Latin and in Hungarian translation.   This is what it looked like:

How’s your Hungarian?

Now, however, we see that – 6 year later – the other languages have been added.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are saying, even as you slap the desk with your sweaty palms, “What does this mean? Does this mean that everyone can relax now? That Summorum Pontificum is safe?”

May I point out to everyone that this happened under POPE FRANCIS?

I don’t know what it means beyond the fact that more translations are now on the Vatican website… after 6 years.

It might mean that with the appointment of Archbp. Pozzo back to the PCED the Lidless Eye of the Secretariat of State has turned its gaze to the Commission, blown the dust of the file, and finally updated the site.

Could it mean more?

We need carefully to double-check the translations.  Let’s make sure they conform to the Latin and that there are no time bombs.   Not that I’m suspicious or anything.

Hey! Trust but verify!

In case it slipped your mind: Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Pope of Christian Unity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Palladio says:

    Yes, verify!
    Be hopeful, too. In writing the biography of a Bishop, I was not long in the archive to find him complaining, in the early 1950s, of the plummeting Latin of seminarians. He himself seems to have written as easily in Latin as in English.

    Why would anything less than the highest standards and best efforts be good enough for the Church of Christ?

  2. I noticed in the English translation under Article 6, it says “In Masses with a congregation celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the readings may be proclaimed also in the vernacular, using editions approved by the Apostolic See.”

    Now that we have an “official” English translation from the holy see, which editions of the readings are “approved by the Apostolic See”? Does this mean that vernacular readings from approved sources can now be used in place of the Latin readings, or is the tradition of “reading the readings during the Mass first in Latin, then the priest reading the readings again in the vernacular at the start of the homily” still in place?

  3. Cantor says:

    There’s a strange irony in that those who’ve most vigorously pursued the Mass in Latin are the ones most anxious to see Summorum Pontificum published in modern languages.

    [There’s nothing strange about that at all. It is by far better that everyone can read for themselves what Pope Benedict’s provisions are. Also, don’t tall into the trap of thinking that “Mass in Latin” means only the Usus Antiquior.]

  4. jhayes says:

    Looks as if the word “one” was left out of the English translation:

    “§ 2. Celebratio secundum Missale B. Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest.”

    §2 Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, [one] such a celebration may also take place.

    [I wrote about that HERE.]

  5. VexillaRegis says:

    Cantor: ;-)

  6. jhayes says:

    This hadn’t ocurred to me before, but while article 2 leaves it to each priest to decide which form to use for a private Mass and article 4 allows laypersons to to attend that private Mass, article 5 seems to give the bishop some involvement in decisions about parish Masses.

    “Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.

    Art. 4. The celebrations of Holy Mass mentioned above in Art. 2 may be attended also by members of the lay faithful who spontaneously request to do so, with respect for the requirements of law.

    Art. 5, §1 In parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition stably exists, the parish priest should willingly accede to their requests to celebrate Holy Mass according to the rite of the 1962 Roman Missal. He should ensure that the good of these members of the faithful is harmonized with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop in accordance with Canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

  7. Vecchio di Londra says:

    CTG: In Art. 6, ‘also’ (‘etiam’) is used in its strict meaning of ‘in addition to’, not its modern loose meaning of ‘instead of’. The Epistle and Gospel must always be read aloud at the altar in Latin: to do otherwise would breach the 1962 rubric. After the Gospel, the celebrant may read the English translation from the pulpit, as you say, before (or instead of) the sermon, as was the custom in the early 1960s.
    Any Rome-approved translations of the Old and New Testaments could be read from the pulpit, including any translations contained in the English Lectionary. The English translations in the 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal have a Nihil Obstat / Imprimatur, so they too would be valid.
    Or the texts could be printed and made available to the congregation, in exactly the same way they are for the OF.

  8. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Actually, I can forsee a blessed time when the entire Daily Roman Missal will be available on Kindle (with its simultaneous English translation, and maybe even the contents of the Graduale Romanum). No more lugging around a pound and a half of leatherbound Missal. No more squinting at the tiny print and furiously flicking over the fragile pages to find that elusive Epistle ‘of a Conf. not a Bishop’ or the second Collect to commemorate S Diplodocus and Companions, (Mart.) only to realise that you’ve lost your place in the Ordinary. For example, the recent Mass of St Cajetan (7th August) has ten different page turns backwards and forwards over more than 400 pages, for the Propers alone. On Kindle, the texts of the day’s Mass would be instantly available, in large print, on a handy screen.
    There may be initial controversy at the idea of reading lit screens at Mass, but I hold that it will prove a blessing. Too many people are unnecessarily kept from a love and understanding of the Latin Mass because they do not know how to read and use a Missal.

  9. Palladio says:

    “There’s a strange irony in that those who’ve most vigorously pursued the Mass in Latin are the ones most anxious to see Summorum Pontificum published in modern languages.” Interesting. But is it not the case that, since the vast majority of Catholics and non-Catholics do not know Latin, Latin lovers–including yours truly–just want to make sure the love is spread around properly? That includes seminarians, too, who start Latin late and end it too soon. What is lost in translation, at all events, is the culture of the original, Greek or Latin or Aramaic. With the original, there is hope of recovery, whence the series Sources Chrétiennes, for instance, the recovery of immemorial Catholic culture, from Christ’s lips to our ears, from the Holy Spirit to the Church Fathers and Doctors.

  10. kmai says:

    On this Verify subject: are you sure the information you are presenting here is accurate?

    Google Cache has the english version of the file cached to July 2007:

    Summorum Pontificum…/hf_ben-xvi_let_20070707_lettera-vescovi_en.html?

    Indeed,’s wayback machine has a copy of the english version of the document dating July 11, 2007

    It was also in the list of letters page as of August 17, 2007:

    Letter to the Bishops that accompanies the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 (July 7, 2007)
    [English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

    Ah, I see where the indexing error cropped up — They have it listed twice — once under “letters” and once under the “motu proprio” page. They failed to update the index in the latter page — doesn’t surprise me, the organization of the Vatican website leaves much to be desired. But the translation into modern languages has been there since july 2007.

  11. “There’s a strange irony in that those who’ve most vigorously pursued the Mass in Latin are the ones most anxious to see Summorum Pontificum published in modern languages.”

    So that What Summorum Pontificum Really Says can be known not only by ordinary pew sitters but especially by Latin-challenged bishops, priests, and chancery officials–among some of whom there has been much misunderstanding and even mendacious misreading.

  12. Ben Kenobi says:

    @Vecchio “Too many people are unnecessarily kept from a love and understanding of the Latin Mass because they do not know how to read and use a Missal.”

    This isn’t unique to TLM. I teach it to my students – we go through the mass and all the sections of the mass, what they are called, and how to use a missal so that you can ‘read along with the father’ as he goes through mass.

    It has been my experience that this is just not done nearly enough for laypeople. It was one of the more difficult things to pick up for me when I converted it over and I would like it to be a little more easy for others to understand how mass works than it was for me.

  13. James C says:

    Glad to see this…ahem…clerical error corrected! Now let us pray that the bigger one inflicted on the loyal, obedient FFIs is rectified.

  14. Andrew says:

    Mostan mindenki tudni fogja hogy mit mondot a Papa. Azok is akik nem tudnak Latinul.

  15. Deo volente says:

    @Vecchio di Londra

    “Actually, I can forsee a blessed time when the entire Daily Roman Missal will be available on Kindle (with its simultaneous English translation, and maybe even the contents of the Graduale Romanum). No more lugging around a pound and a half of leatherbound Missal.”

    The website,, posts the daily propers for the Mass at the link provided.

    Note that Kalendarium will take you to the entire calendar for the month and year. You can also scroll ahead by day by clicking the “up or down arrow” and then “clicking the gray box”. The Propers will then jump ahead to this page date. Each page opens with the entire Mass including the Propers (Full option). If you wish to view only the Propers alone, scroll to the bottom of the page, and in the bottom right, click “Propers”. The Propers alone will then be displayed. Also note that the Propers have such choices as Trident 1570, Trident 1910, Divino Afflatu, Rubrics 1960, 1960-1967, 1960 Newcalendar. [Note: I use the Rubrics 1960 and they are in accord with the Baronius Missal, Summorum Pontificum edition. These also follow the Ordo of the F.S.S.P.]

    You mentioned the Mass of St. Cajetan, Confessor. This Mass had a Commemoration with St. Donatus. Unfortunately, the Latin portion of the Collect, Secret and Postcommunion were not displayed for this Mass on DivinumOfficium, but the English was present. This is a rare event. Still, to solve issues such as this, each day I post links to the Propers of the Mass for the FOLLOWING day using several options. All are in accord with the Baronius Missal, and the information on the Mass is from the Ordo of the F.S.S.P. I post one day in advance because I have followers who are checking for Propers beyond the International Time Line and are a day ahead.

    It is obvious that this solution is not a viable “liturgical solution” but it does help those who wish to follow the Propers without fumbling through a Missal or the Missale Romanum as you’ve described. Furthermore, I have posted the Propers of several Masses that are not otherwise available (such as the Votive Mass of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest) with the permission of Baronius, Ltd.

    Kind regards,

  16. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Deo volente – I know this superb website; if you are the author I am most indebted to you…
    Your tip about the ‘Propers’ link at the bottom of the page is very useful, as many churches (and many faithful Massgoers) already have a handy booklet of the Ordinary of the Mass. But even just for the Propers, that’s still ca. six pages to print out – daily. That’s a lot of paper and ink over the year.

    In order to use your invaluable website online at Mass the faithful would need to have an iPad or tablet computer with broadband access. That is quite a big ask, for many faithful Catholics – perhaps most globally – do not have such a small-format computer and cannot afford one. Many areas do not have reliable broadband/cable/mobile phone coverage.
    But a basic Kindle is affordable for almost everyone these days.
    Might you consider ‘publishing’ your Propers/Ordinary and selling the published contents to Kindle?
    (I realise there might be copyright problems etc. You would need the agreement of Baronius/FSSP. But the cause is such a good one…)

    V di L

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