From a reader…
I recently received a question concerning the Traditional Latin Mass. I was asked what can a priest do if his bishop stops him from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass because he dislikes the TLM or disagrees with Summorum Pontificum.
Is there a document that legally protects him and allows him to petition the Holy See?
Today seems an appropriate day for this question.
Yes, there is a document which protects such a priest: Summorum Pontificum.
Read it in conjunction with the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
A Latin Church diocesan bishop cannot override papal legislation intended for the whole Latin Church. If he tries, a priest can have recourse – with the help of canon lawyer or not – to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (sending proofs, copies of documentation, etc.).
Most Rev. Guido POZZO
Secretary of the
Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio
00120 VATICAN CITY
A priest so treated must decide whether or not this is a hill that he would like to die on. Keep in mind that a bishop can crucify a priest in a thousand creative ways.
That said, it could be The Good Fight that Father needs to fight. We have to stand up to oppressors for the sake of a good cause. And this is a good cause.
Use of the older form, the Traditional Latin Mass is a good thing for the priest himself. Even if he said it only in private, it would have a knock-on effect with all the people whom the priest serves. Use of the older Mass shapes the priest. Participation in the traditional Mass by congregations with such a priest has an even bigger knock-on effect.
Summorum Pontificum was a truly amazing, effective and timely gift to the whole Church.
Thank you Pope Benedict XVI.
Oh… and another thing….
In cases such as these, in addition – or in lieu of – recourse to the Holy See one could possibly have recourse to The Bux Protocol™.