From a reader…
We were in a situation where
(a) my fiancee and I had already booked a time slot in a Church for the Rite of Marriage and Nuptial Mass
(b) After this, we requested from the parish priest to have Rite of Marriage and Nuptial Mass done in the extraordinary form. We informed the parish priest that we had a priest (qualified) who was able and willing to officiate.
(c) Parish priest refused, saying it was ‘his church’ and that he wouldn’t have that happening in ‘his church’.
Is this contrary to Summorum Pontificum and/or Universae ecclesiae?
With a Mass, it seems more straightforward: stable group + qualified priest + no schismatic allegiances = request must be granted
But with the other sacraments such as marriage is it that straightforward?
First, you might have checked about this before you “booked”.
The legislative document for the whole Church, including your parish, called Summorum Pontificum says:
Art. 5 – § 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.
Of course pastors have power and you don’t. You can go to the bishop about this, as is your right. The same document says:
Art. 7 – If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 § 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.
Of course, if the bishop is not inclined to be helpful, there’s not much you can do because they have power and you don’t. Rather than be pastors, shepherds, fathers to you, they lord it over you, giving you stones instead of bread.
So, assess your situation and the people involved.
Your best approach may be to persuade, diplomatically.
And get ready to be disappointed.