Pope Francis to expand concelebration into the “Tridentine” Mass

I’m not sure what’s up with this, but it can’t be good.

From Pisces News with my emphases and comments:

Pope Francis to Change “Tridentine” Rite in spirit of Mercy

ROME (PiscesNews): In a long-anticipated surprise move Pope Francis has begun his own reform of the Roman Rite in the Extraordinary Form.

Vatican observers have learned that Pope Francis has granted permission to a monastic community to practice concelebration in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, sometimes called the “Tridentine” Mass or just the “Latin Mass”. The grant is to last for two years, “ad experimentum”, after which the results of the period will be studied and a final decision will be made. [Only 2 years?]

If it is well-received in that monastic community, permission would be applied world-wide.

Concelebration is when more than one priest celebrates the same Mass. It was used in the ancient Church but it faded out. Vatican II revived the practice in the 1960’s. Some oriental churches have maintained concelebration.

“Changes to the foot washing ‘Mandatum” for Holy Thursday have brought such interest and new energy to the Sacred Triduum, “said Msgr. Luigi Campanaro, a consulter on liturgical matters for the Holy See’s liturgy office, [That guy… again … still alive, I see.] “His Holiness, in his great love and solicitude for the People, is now considering how to apply the fruits of the Year of Mercy to the traditional Mass.” The “Triduum” are the last days of Lent before Easter, which include Good Friday.

One official, who spoke on background, offered that Francis is concerned that in the pre-conciliar liturgy priests always have their backs to the people. If there were concelebrants, then at least some priests could make eye contact with the congregation and, “reassure them that they are loved and valued. It’s all about Mercy.”

Not all commentators on the traditional liturgy were as enthusiastic about this move to expand concelebration. Speaking by phone, Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, or “Father Z”, who has a world-famous blog often focused on traditional rites, said curtly before the line went dead, “Concelebration should be safe, legal and rare.”  [My position for many years now.]

Campanaro, when asked about previous changes to the Latin Mass affirmed these changes can be made without harming the integrity of the old liturgy.  Benedict XVI had in 2008 already made a change to the Good Friday prayer for Jews. “After that,” said Campanaro, “anything’s possible.”

Dom Wilfrid Brimble, OSB of Affpuddle Abbey, an expert on liturgy studies, [and a ninnyhammer] told PN that concelebration is not entirely unknown in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass even now. “At ordinations to the priesthood,”, he said, “the newly ordained priests say the words of institution – what used to be called the consecration – together with the bishop who is the liturgical presider of the assembly. That’s concelebration and it was done for centuries. This is nothing new.” He went on to say that he welcomed Pope Francis’ new interest in the traditionalist Mass. “It’s time. It’s time for more Mercy in the Church. It’s time for a new beginning.”  [I feel ill.]

You decide. I, for one, am against it.

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. rroan says:

    You had me there for a minute. April Fools!

  2. MariaKap says:

    April Fool!

  3. Christ-Bearer says:

    Happy 1st of April to you, too, Fr. Z. (Although you had me spitting profanities until I got halfway through.) ;-)

  4. Pastor in Valle says:

    Sorry, Fr Z, this isn’t funny. We’re all hurting right now so much that, as you know, this might very well have been true. But it’s April 1st, so ha ha, gotcha. Please take it down! Love your blog, you’re a great guy, but this is just not funny.

  5. Manducat in the hat says:

    The “Spirit of Vatican II”, and all the errant theological assumptions made by laypeople that followed, has created an entire generation of Catholic Special Snowflakes who have to be constantly entertained or engaged lest they feel unloved. How are vocations supposed to increase if the clergy and the pope himself have stunted the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth of the laity? The laity would never have gotten the idea that they needed to be entertained during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass if the powers that be hadn’t told them so.

  6. John UK says:

    Not for nothing do the French talk of poissons d’Avril.

  7. CatholicMD says:

    What does concelebration or mass versus populum have to do with mercy?

  8. Dominicanes says:

    It’s April Fool’s Day! We saw right through ya!

  9. marianna331 says:

    If the congregation needs eye contact with a priest during Mass to be reassured that they are loved and valued they have woefully missed the point, and even more woefully are missing the loving gaze of their Savior.

  10. Inigo says:

    April fools!

  11. Fr. Andrew says:

    I heard that Bishop Fellay is the one who requested this as well. Perhaps it was mentioned in that Chiesa article?

  12. raininnewark says:

    What’s the date again today? : )

  13. Toan says:

    I think I might be happy with this new option if Pope Francis would celebrate an EF Mass using it. The nonsense about versus populum being a sign of mercy to the people rather makes me want to gag, though.

    Could anybody clarify: Is this change to the EF applicable only to that single monastic order? The headline makes it sound like it applies everywhere.

  14. rtjl says:

    April fools right?

    ” In a long-anticipated surprise move”. “Long anticipated” and “surprise”? Really?

  15. bourgja says:

    This must be a satirical article. It must be!

  16. pberginjr says:

    I don’t see a point (it only slightly bothers me, mostly I’m just puzzled). The idea of eye contact from a priest being equated with mercy seems absurd, and dare I say many who assist at the EF PREFER the lack of eye contact. I’m just having a hard time seeing who thinks this is a positive or necessary development.

    As an aside, how can a move be both “long-anticipated” and “surprise”?

  17. Gregorius says:

    It only makes sense, given that this is the anniversary of that important motu proprio in which Pope Francis ordered the creation of an ecumenical liturgy that protestants could also use. What was its name? Dies-something…

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    April Fish News, yes?

  19. boredoftheworld says:

    PLEASE tell me this is an April fools prank.

  20. Mike says:

    O Beatus Stultus Mense Aprili, ora pro nobis!

  21. defensoris says:

    Felix dies 1 Aprilis!

  22. Riddley says:

    Ah, April Fool’s Day… Excellent stuff. Being English and hence six hours ahead (whatever time zone I’m in) I’ve already had to sniff out a couple of these today…

  23. defensoris says:

    That should be corrected to Felix die I infra Aprilis.

  24. APX says:

    April Fools?? Right???

  25. chantgirl says:

    I smell something fishy. And foolish :)

  26. Lirioroja says:

    Pisces News? When I studied French in school a while back (longer than I care to admit) we’d get tidbits of French culture and one that I remember is that on April Fool’s Day they have the habit of sticking a fish (or a picture of one) on the back of an unsuspecting person, much like the “Kick me” signs we might see here in the States. Fishy indeed.

  27. jst5000 says:

    April Fools!!! Nice One, Fr. Z. You gave it a way in too many places, though.

    “long-anticipated surprise move” – love it.

  28. bourgja says:

    Oh wait a minute. It’s April Fool’s Day today, isn’t it? Good one, Fr. Z!

  29. Jean-Luc says:

    I almost had a heart attack until I googled “Pisces News”, then I realized what’s it’s all about…

  30. Manducat in the hat says:

    There are a handful of times in the TLM when the priest makes eye contact, most importantly when the priest is distributing Holy Communion.

    This mercy thing is becoming tiresome, probably because it’s not mercy, it’s coddling.

  31. TWF says:

    If the faithful need constant eye contact during divine worship to know they are loved and valued, they are not their for divine worship… Let’s take even more steps to reduce holy mass to a self-affirmation event.

  32. progressive says:

    April 1st

  33. vikingjr says:

    Somebody PLEASE tell me that this is an April Fools joke.

  34. Gregg the Obscure says:

    PiscesNews is a bit of a fishwrap. ;-)

  35. DisturbedMary says:

    I’m mercy-ed out. Basta.

  36. StabatMater says:

    In facing ad orientem, a priest most mercifully dimishes his own image and likeness in the Mass. He truly reassures me I am “loved and valued” by sacrificing himself in union with Our Eucharistic Lord to lead me to God without looking at others or allowing himself to be distracted with the worries of what everyone else is thinking. The gesture reminds me to keep my focus on Christ, follow Him, and lead my children in the same direction regardless of how other people “FEEL” about it. This is unselfish, masculine love and authentic Catholic headship, of which our Church and culture are being STARVED.

    The TLM rubrics tell us who we are as priest, and lay men, and women. They give us our identity. They make us DIFFERENT from one another because we are NOT the same and have DIFFERENT roles as designed by God Almighty.
    And lay men and women are NOT equal to priests and ad orientem worship speaks clearly, “I have a much greater burden leading all souls to God.” The priest’s sacrifice is DIFFERENT, greater, deeper, hence why his Communion is separate from that of the people’s.

    Concelebration in the Novus diminishes the integrity of the priesthood and detracts from the Mass (except when done appropriately, which is rare here) as they often look like a bunch of school girls fighting for a part in a school play, whining, “What about ME??? What do I get to do?!?!” And then we need to share that responsibility (parts) with lay people: Who wants to be a lector? EMHC? Altar boy??? Oops, let’s not exclude the girls! No one should feeeeeel badly about how God created them without asking who/what they thought they should be!

    Psychology & Sociology 101: The most efficient means to eradicate the poison of feminism that has infiltrated the Church is the TLM, most notably because of ad orientem. Give a woman a strong man to follow and then she will she her own beauty & dignity and pin a chapel veil to it!

    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us as we await the close of these parentheses!

    P.S. I live in south Louisiana, baptized in Fr Decker’s parish, and will be buried there some day. My grandmother still lives in that little town. We travel 40 minutes to get the ONE of two Sunday Latin Masses in the entire archdiocese since the surrounding church parishes are WEAK (I am being charitable!) liturgy, catechesis, etc. We have a loooong way to go after the biological solution. FEW people under the age of 60 here have any inkling that Catholicism is more than where you attend “services” on Sunday.

  37. yatzer says:

    Who wants eye contact with the priest anyway? And why is eye contact at Mass a good thing? We aren’t there to worship the priest. I love, in the EF, the attention of everybody looking to God himself. Where does the idea come from that we all want the priest looking at us? Snowflakes indeed.

  38. mshepard85 says:

    Some of you need to invest in a calendar.

  39. entirelyuseless says:

    For anyone who is worried about this, please note today’s date.

  40. WmHesch says:

    April Fools!!

  41. dinsdale says:

    Just asking if perhaps the date on the byline has any bearing on this item?

  42. mshepard85 says:

    And further realize you should check your calendars when the piece begins thusly:

    In a long-anticipated surprise…..

  43. Adaquano says:

    A very convincing April Fools Father

  44. Lucas says:

    Reading the comments, am I the only person who knows what day it is?

  45. Pearl says:

    April fools???? I hope!!! With Pope Francis, one can never be sure.

  46. mharden says:

    This seems a terrible precedent. The only bright side is that they now fear the increasing numbers of the faithful embracing the TLM; enough that they are seeking to pervert it directly with novelties such as this.

  47. The Astronomer says:

    Is it engaging in wishful thinking to hope this is a Fr. Z ‘April Fool’s’ joke?

  48. PAT says:

    April 1?

  49. Fr. Hamilton says:

    April Fool’s Day, anyone?

  50. Fr. Ó Buaidhe says:

    I have to say that the idea of a concelebrated silent Canon appeals to me. Perhaps it can be extended into the OF by this time next year?

  51. Phil_NL says:

    What’s the date again?

  52. colospgs says:

    This has to be an “Onion” style report, just not as funny. The first line in the story was a giveaway to me. “In a long-anticipated surprise move…” I can’t find Pisces News anywhere online either.

  53. Nan says:

    Did anyone check the date?

  54. cyrillist says:

    Does anybody really know what day it is? Does anybody really care?

  55. Mary Jane says:

    Speaking for myself, I think priests/deacons/subdeacons making eye contact with parishioners during an EF mass would just be weird. I don’t even open my eyes when receiving communion. And at the Ecce Agnus Dei the priest/deacon/subdeacon (or just priest if it’s a low/high mass and not a solemn) always is gazing at the Eucharist…not at the people in the pews.

  56. Clemens Romanus says:

    April Fools?

  57. tianzhujiao says:

    It is April 1st!…..I wonder :-)

  58. demivalka says:

    Has anyone checked their calendars? Well played Fr. Z.!

  59. B16generation says:

    Happy April Fools day, Father Z! {}:0)

  60. Jared Clark says:

    This is an April Fools’ post…right?

  61. Armchair theologian says:

    Um…for all of you freaking out about this, actually read the article. I’m pretty sure this is an April Fools thing.

  62. Robbie says:

    I’m surprised my fellow commenters have fallen for this April Fool’s Day joke.

  63. jameeka says:

    April Fool?

  64. rdb says:

    April Fool’s?

  65. Quanah says:

    The idea of concelebration in the EF doesn’t bother me. Then again, I rarely go to the EF. I can see reasons of practicality that some communities may want to have concelebration, but mercy is not one of those reasons. This reasoning concerns me much more than concelebration itself. I utterly fail to see any connection to mercy here. In fact, I see a great lack of “mercy” (if we’re going to toss the word around to mean whatever we want it to). If it is an act of mercy to have concelebration and/or some degree of versus populum during the actual words of consecration, then what criticism is being implied concerning the devotion of the people and the solicitation of the Church for souls throughout the vast majority of the Her history of celebrating Mass ad orientem? Even more, what of mercy towards people today who go to EF Masses. These people are choosing to go to the EF over the OF. They want to go. To state that making eye contact with them reassures them that they are loved and valued seems to imply that they currently do not feel this way. The assumptions being made here about a need for mercy through eye contact and concelebration is disturbing, not least because it doesn’t take into account the witness of those actually celebrating and going to the EF.

  66. frbkelly says:

    Why would the concelebrants be facing the people? shouldn’t they be facing the altar along with the principal celebrant? After all, if it is true, that they are in fact celebrating the Mass, their attention should be focused on the sacrifice on the altar.

    Actually when the Mass is said as the rubrics direct, which in either form is _ad orientem_ the priest turns to face the people many more times in the _antiquior_ than he does in the _recentior_ form.
    In the _forma antiquior_ he turns to face the people at every _Dominus vobiscum_ whereas in the new form he only turns at the _Orate Fratres_, the _Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum_ and at the _Ecce Agnus Dei_.
    If looking at the people is to be equated with mercy, then the _forma antiquior_ is far more merciful than the newer form.

  67. rwj says:

    Please, friends, look at the date!

  68. Matthew Gaul says:

    This has April Fools written all over it.

  69. Siculum says:


  70. Mike H says:

    I really enjoy Pisces News, you should quote them more often.
    Pesci! Fish!

  71. stpetric says:

    Stulte Aprilis dies!

  72. Dick Verbo says:

    April Fool!

  73. nhoward says:

    Is this an April Fools joke?

  74. Gee I knew something reeked of dead fish when this came from the Pisces news source. A Ninnyhamer ha ha ha! Fr Z your insults crack me up!

  75. BP247 says:

    Good one Z!!! April Fools Day!!!

  76. michael says:

    Seems like a nice April fools joke. I hope…

  77. Kensington says:

    I’m sorry if I’m being a killjoy, but this is an April Fool’s Day joke, right? :)

  78. Joe in Canada says:

    I would hold out on this until I had more information. What units are used to measure the ensuing Mercy? Are they LA RECs or NY Happy Pints? Klugscheissers? Also, at a High Mass, can a Priest-Deacon or Priest Sub-Deacon “serve out” for the sake of a stipend? And if this happens in a Jesuit chapel or church — o wait, never mind, you’d never find more than one Jesuit in any community that would know the EF.

  79. gheg says:

    April fool?

  80. zama202 says:

    This is a recognition by the Extraordinary Form’s enemies that it is beginning to play a larger role in the Church. It is a preemptive strike to blunt the EF’s growth and strength.

    However if the Traditional Mass survived the mean-spirited, massive and overwhelming attempt to annihilate it after V2 – it will survive this feeble attack.

    The vast majority of priests will simply not concelebrate.

    Ironically some non-Tridentines, may be drawn to the Traditional Mass through this provision.


  81. juliaflyte says:

    April fools?

  82. St. Irenaeus says:

    Guys. Gals. Everyone. Look at the date. I can’t find Pisces News anywhere, there’s no link provided, and the date is April 1. I suspect the good Fr Zed is having us on.

  83. Nuntii Pisces, in Piscis kalendae aprilis, eheu?

  84. frbkelly says:

    Before taking this too too seriously, perhaps we ought to pay attention to the date of Fr. Z’s post?

  85. iamlucky13 says:

    May I assume that long-standing tradition played a role in the timing of this announcement? It seemed subtle enough to me I thought I should ask, as I think only three other posters above are familiar with that particular tradition.

    If so, it makes sense that Pisces would be the publication to break sensitive news of the change instead of some of the more traditional outlets, which might report on it in a more critical tone. After all Pisces Segestre is “the independent news source.”

  86. Y2Y says:

    Hook, line and sinker…..

  87. Dundonianski says:

    Given Pope Francis’ interest in those celebrating the EF form, the poor maligned Friars of The Immaculate spring to mind, then I sincerely consider that his interest in the EF cannot and will not be benign

  88. tonyfernandez says:

    Is the moderation queue on for those of us who notice the date?

  89. Sonshine135 says:

    Please say April fools…..Please say April fools….Please say April fools!

  90. APX says:

    There are a handful of times in the TLM when the priest makes eye contact, most importantly when the priest is distributing Holy Communion.

    Eye contact when receiving communion?! Our priest instructs us to close our eyes when receiving.

  91. Nathan says:

    Father Z, I have a suspicion that, even though liturgically it is still March 27, this post might be operating off the civil calendar.

    In Christ,

  92. churchlady says:

    Oh, what a day today is.

  93. aegsemje says:

    April Fool’s joke, I hope?

  94. Sixupman says:

    Occasionally, some years ago, I visited an Augustinian church. Mass being Celebrated at the main altar. At the same time, another priest was Celebrating hid personal Mass at a side-altar. Such was the norm. Concelebration – more free time?

  95. Charivari Rob says:


    April 1, folks.

    Don’t you think that there is maybe the teeniest chance that someone is pushing your buttons?

  96. Gerard Plourde says:

    I really don’t see a reason to introduce concelebration into the Extraordinary Form. It also seems to be the kind of detail that Pope Francis usually avoids. Given that today is April 1, is my leg being pulled?

  97. frdanbecker says:

    Another big scoop for Pisces News. I have never known them to be wrong before.

    Also, when such well-known liturgical authorities as Msgr. Luigi Campanaro and Dom Wilfrid Brimble are quoted, this takes on added significance. Msgr. Luigi has been around the circuit many times, and I think about Wilfrid Brimble every morning while eating my oatmeal.

  98. veryseldon says:

    How appropriate for today!

  99. Toan says:

    On second thought, I deem this an April Fool’s prank made by Fr. Z until proven otherwise.

  100. Healingrose1202 says:

    Trying to continually change the mass in order to somehow spoon feed or make up for an individual’s lack of grace cannot force the acceptance of grace. Grace is a choice and a gift given only by God. If He deems it appropriate that through that grace, we receive mercy for whatever mental hurdles that might be present, then who is a priest or pope to think he is on the same level as God by trying to impart these gifts which can only come from God? That men or the Church try to modernize or micromanage God, have mercy indeed!…That the Mass would focus on anything other than to show the most extreme care for reverence and piety is unconscionable, but grievously, this seems to be a common problem. I feel like I could go on a Mother Angelica type rant, especially after noticing lack of reverence for the Mass of Christian Burial for her. Why should a bride have eyes for anyone other than her bridegroom?

  101. ies0716 says:

    I think that the commenters freaking out about this announcement aren’t noticing the part where these changes are only effective once each year, on April 1.

  102. cwillia1 says:

    Mercy = Eye Contact = Concelebration? Cringe. One thing to note: we don’t really know what motivates Pope Francis. All we have is nonsense from this or that spokesman.

  103. Gilbert Fritz says:

    I think it is April 1st, that’s all.

  104. Back pew sitter says:

    It seems to me that the proposal is entirely apt in this day and age, even if it might have raised shackles at a different time. Sometimes we need to lighten up and judge which proposals are absolutely to be rejected and which should be heard with more equanimity.

  105. CradleRevert says:

    My April Fools radar is set to a strange combination of overly-sensitive and yet still gullible. This story is a joke…right?

  106. kat says:

    Whenever I read Fr. Z on April 1, I never know what to believe!! :)

  107. +JMJ+ says:

    I read this and assumed it was an April Fool’s joke…

  108. clq24 says:

    Is this an April Fool’s Day joke?

  109. anilwang says:

    One official, who spoke on background, offered that Francis is concerned that in the pre-conciliar liturgy priests always have their backs to the people. If there were concelebrants, then at least some priests could make eye contact with the congregation and, “reassure them that they are loved and valued. It’s all about Mercy.”

    If true, Pope Francis really doesn’t understand the theology of the mass. No offense, but I don’t go to mass to be loved by the priest or because the priest is entertaining or is able to give me on an emotional high. If I wanted any of that, I’d invite the priest home for lunch. And if I wanted to be experimented on, I’d do so at a medical facility, not the place where I worship.

    The priest facing the same way as the people is an act of humility, since because of ex opere operato, the individual priest is not important, just the role of the priest. It’s not mercy to move the center of attention away from Christ and towards the priest. It’s prideful clericalism pure and simple.

    Thankfully most people (I’d wager all) who go to TLM and most priests who celebrate TLM do not want the priest facing the people. One of the great things about TLM being in the ghetto is that only the people who seek out TLM are those who have already rejected the more popular alternatives. So even if concelebrations become more common, the priests will not be facing the people.

  110. RichR says:

    April Fool’s (?)

  111. Marie Veronica says:

    Given the date of this press release from “Pisces News” and the quote from the friar of Affpuddle Abbey, I think a wait and see approach is best.

  112. Elizabeth D says:

    I blame the manufacturers of Roman chasubles. They want each parish to buy not only solemn Mass sets in all the colors but more extra chasubles of each color.

  113. JesusFreak84 says:

    PLEASE, LORD, let this be an April Fools joke! T_T

  114. ctek says:

    Wow, a lot of in-depth commentary for an April 1st article! :)

  115. baileymxd says:

    I feel this won’t be an issue for any of the priests who offer Mass in the EF on a regular basis. They won’t let it be an option.

    My pastors don’t even concelebrate the NO. During the Triduum two of them always sat in choir.

  116. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    We have ruled out April Fool’s Day, here?

  117. majuscule says:

    I see the Fishwrap is covering this.

    They are not happy (no surprise–they never are) that one of their favorite cardinals is supporting this, so I’m thinking that it may be a good thing even though my instincts tell me this is not a good move.

    A choice quote from a cardinal: “I had tears,” said Schönborn. “This is a testimony of the effect of lived mercy.”

  118. Jack says:

    I really don’t care if the priest loves me (although I hope he does!).
    What I really care about is that GOD loves me.
    Everything else is just window dressing.

  119. VexillaRegis says:

    What’s the matter with you?

  120. JuliB says:

    April Fool’s?

  121. michael says:

    The quote from Dom Brimble is not surprising. I’ve never heard anything good from him or Affpuddle Abbey!

  122. benedetta says:

    Not Dom Brimble OSB! He is well known as the artisan of an alternative magisterium in my neck of the woods. A veritable fool for Kung.

  123. mburn16 says:

    I’d like to see a diagram of how the concelebration-with-eye-contact thing is supposed to work for the EF. Pretty much every church I know where the EF is celebrated, it is done at a high altar positioned against a wall. Seems like the end result might resemble some kind of abstract statue garden with the various participants staring off in odd directions.

  124. tzard says:

    To quote Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll think about it tomorrow”

  125. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    This is an April Fools for sure.

  126. slainewe says:

    Dear Father, it really is confusing for you to post such things on April 1st. I read with trepidation until I reached the “eye contact” part. Then, total relief! It was an April Fool! Then I read the comments and this is for real?!

    Do not the powers that be understand the difference between the celebrating priest being in the Person of the One Christ, and Christ forced being in the persons of every Reverend Tom, Dick and Harry in a flock of christs?

  127. VeritasVereVincet says:

    said curtly before the line went dead, “Concelebration should be safe, legal and rare.”

    Ah…there’s the giveaway line. *snerk*

  128. Titus says:

    Three words: hook, line, and sinker.

  129. John Grammaticus says:

    Father its April 1st……….. very good, but perhaps bit on the twisted side

  130. Tony McGough says:

    I note that this “long anticipated surprise move” was heard of on April the first.

  131. Lisieux says:

    Ah yes. Affpuddle is just down the road from my home in Bournemouth, and is known partly for its abbey, but also for the waving fields of spaghetti, which the monks harvest each year.

  132. sahn105 says:


  133. TheDude05 says:

    I’m guessing it is a April Fool’s joke but one must be cautious these days.

  134. pelerin says:

    Something very FISHY here.

  135. edm says:

    Don’t people remember it is April 1st?

  136. Sleepyhead says:

    Thanks for this, Father Z :-D

  137. Christophorus1208 says:

    April Fools?

  138. Andrew D says:

    Please tell me this is an April Fool’s Day joke?

  139. padredana says:

    April Fools.

  140. anna 6 says:

    “then at least some priests could make eye contact with the congregation and, “reassure them that they are loved and valued. It’s al about mercy”.

    I thought for sure that this was an April Fool’s joke…

    Is it?

  141. Marianna says:

    In fact, this is not a new proposal. It was first suggested by the well-known Polish liturgist Mgr Litosc Ryba during the reign, sorry, parenthesis, of Pope John Paul II.
    I’ll post that even though midnight has just passed here in the UK.

  142. Ann Malley says:

    “His Holiness, in his great love and solicitude for the People, is now considering how to apply the fruits of the Year of Mercy to the traditional Mass.”

    News FLASH: Mercy is exercised in not exposing what is healthy and intact to sick experiments.

    Please, Holy Father. Have mercy on your children, made sick by the wild-toad ride. Leave well enough ALONE. Or are you intentionally attempting to sicken us, scare us, scandalize us, scatter us, and then call it a day?

    Make it stop, Mommy, I feel sick.
    Pray, God, this madness ends soon. Mixing all the watercolors together in their little palette ovals renders all the options mud. Thanks. But that’s not what we need.
    This idiotic misuse of the term mercy is

  143. St. Irenaeus says:

    Father Z, in spite of the date, I see you’re serious?

  144. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Personally, I think the “eye-contact” issue is a red herring. The concelebrants “facing the people” would be those behind a free standing altar. In the Byzantine rites, this happens when there are four concelebrants or more. This is simply one interviewee’s reading of the papal mind.

    That said, as a religious in a community where a sung Dominican Rite is fairly regularly celebrated (at least one a month, tomorrow at 10 a.m., for example), that EF Mass, in practice, can never be the community Mass. Our constitutions say that the community Mass should be concelebrated (yes, I know lots of you hate concelebration). But even if that were not the case, the logistics of providing the possibility of every priest celebrating a private Mass would be very difficult. Aged and infirm priests (6 in my community), who cannot stand that long, have horrible vision, etc., would not be able to say Mass at all. Second, there is no longer an army of lay brothers to do all the set-up, serving, etc. Outsiders might think these problems trivial and obstructive; they are not. In theory, one might say: great, just have the priests say private Mass, have a Novus Ordo for the aged in some out of the way chapel, and then have all attend the community Mass. This will not work and did not happen in the old day. Before Vatican II, when all the our (able) priests said private Masses, they DID NOT ATTEND the community Mass. The only priests at that Mass were the major ministers. The only other friars there were the student brothers who sang it. There was and is little possibility that priests in an busy active order are going to say a private Mass and then attend in choir a second sung Mass, along with the choir office. Perhaps monks can manage this. Actives? I doubt it will happen.

    Also, note that this permission is being given to one monastic community. In practice, aside from a few monasteries who never introduced concelebration, the possibility of adopting the EF as the conventual Mass is not going to happen unless there is concelebration. For the reasons I listed above. It is possible that individual monks in this monastery might eventually decide to say a private Mass and then attend the community sung Mass, but that would take time. Concelebration also allows celebration of Mass by the infirm who cannot say Mass on their own. That is in fact a mercy.

    Again, this is a permission. Even if extended to the whole Church, there is nothing to force concelebration, if the monks or parish clergy do not want it. In short, I don’t think this permission need provoke anxiety attacks.

  145. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    Please, just leave the Mass alone.

  146. Mario Bird says:

    Indeed, a “long-anticipated surprise move” akin to Fermi’s discovery of dry wetness, Palestrina’s solo polyphony, or Jesuit schools’ atheistic theology.

  147. Marg says:

    Please tell me this an April Fools Day joke…please!

  148. St. Epaphras says:

    April Fool’s joke. Surely…?

  149. Felipe says:

    Please tell me this is an April fools joke.

  150. KevinSymonds says:

    April Fools!!

  151. AngelGuarded says:

    I decided this has got to be an April fool’s joke.

    Please tell me I’m right.

  152. KateD says:


  153. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    Okay, my immediate reaction was “this has to be an April Fools joke.” But then, as I read the first comments and no one has mentioned it, it didn’t take much to convince me that maybe it wasn’t. Father, you should weigh in, in this day in age, anything is believable. We’re all gullible Catholics now.

    [I planted hints along the way. The problem is not, I think, that many people are gullible. The problem is that many people don’t actually read what is posted. They read the title, or a line or two, and then rush to post without taking any time to think. This happens all year long, but yesterday was a good moment to underscore the phenomenon. I’ll leave aside another issue, namely, that some folks have lost their sense of humor. We aren’t liberals, after all!]

  154. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Ha! I assumed this was an April Fool joke, but what deceived me was that a poster stated that the news had already been taken up by the National Catholic Distorter, opps, I mean Reporter.

  155. matthew2368 says:

    May this gesture of mercy spread unbounded through the universal church… Said no one ever. The fact that it’s fairly plausible makes this a great April Fool!

  156. majuscule says:

    Reverend Father Augustine Thompson O.P…

    Please accept my abject and heartfelt apologies for leading you on… However, the quote in my post was from the Fishwrap…even though it wasn’t from an article about concelebration.

    I am reading your wonderful book about St. Francis. Will that make amends?

  157. pelerin says:

    Lisieux – you mention the spaghetti fields near Bournemouth. Everyone knows spaghetti grows on trees – remember Dimbleby on Panorama and his disastrous spaghetti harvest? By the way I’ve heard the treacle mines in Polegate here in Sussex are still flourishing.

  158. Gilbert Fritz says:

    Interesting that Fr. decided to hold back all the comments of those who saw through it. The post had too many dead giveaways. The only thing that might have made me believe it was all the other posters. But then there were some giveaways in the comments, too.

  159. Charliebird says:

    At first, I wanted to throw up and thought “God must surely take him from us before he pulls a stunt like that!”

    Then, I read this line: “reassure them that they are loved and valued. It’s all about Mercy”… and I became suspicious. As I highlighted PiscesNews to Google search it, I saw the post date and then…WHEW! April FOOL!

    Wow…this has to be the best one yet. The fact that you had your black and red comments also threw me off!

  160. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Dear me, majuscule,

    No one has to apologize for my willingness to be deceived! And thanks for the kind words on my biography of St. Francis. We academics usually write books no one reads.

    On the other hand, my comments on the issues of the EF and religious communities conventual Mass present realities even if the pope is not giving such a permission.

  161. E.A. Bucchianeri says:

    Yikes, I was getting upset until…APRIL FOOL’s!

    Our Lord told Marie-Julie Jahenny He was not happy with the New Mass being introduced to begin with, then to see something like this about changing the Latin Mass again …well…I’m glad this was just a hoax!

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