Wherein Fr Z responds to a question by Beans about the traditional rite of Confirmation

I have been informed by a reader that Massimo “Beans” Faggioli posted a tweet in which he thanked me for my prayers after his seriously rude attack on my person and against Bp. Hying.  HERE

I couldn’t see his tweet because he blocks me.

For those of you who are NOT blocked by Beans, here is the tweet…

I would add that what I did was more than say “prayers”.  I celebrated the Sacrifice of Calvary, Holy Mass, for his and his family’s intention.

Screen shot sent by a reader.   It really isn’t fair to ask a question of someone whom he blocks.

Since Beans has asked, I will respond.

Those older forms were never suppressed or abrogated in such a way that they absolutely could not be used.

Firstly, Beans would do well to read the text of Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (Italian).

In SP….

Art. 9, §1  The parish priest, after careful consideration, can also grant permission to use the older ritual in the administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance and Anointing of the Sick, if advantageous for the good of souls.

§2  Ordinaries are granted the faculty of celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation using the old Roman Pontifical, if advantageous for the good of souls.

This is underscored in 2011 by Universae Ecclesiae:

29. Permission to use the older formula for the rite of Confirmation was confirmed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (cf. art. 9 § 2). Therefore, in the forma extraordinaria, it is not necessary to use the newer formula of Pope Paul VI as found in the Ordo Confirmationis.

Before that, however, after Ecclesia Dei adflicta of John Paul II, the Holy See permitted the use of the liturgical books in force in 1962.  That included, of course, the Pontificale Romanum.

As a matter of fact, after 1988 there was a challenge by the French bishops (if my memory serves) to the use of the Rite of Confirmation.  This was because the SSPX bishops were confirming in the old Rite.  They questioned the validity of confirming with the older, traditional form, because of what Paul VI changed.  However, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified that the older, traditional form remained valid and that the older Rite of Confirmation could be used.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei had the authority to grant the use of those books, in line with the Holy See’s previous legislation.

So, Confirmation with the older, traditional Rite has been going on all this time.  It is now much more frequent because more and more people are choosing to attend the Traditional Latin Mass and they want traditional Confirmation for their children.  Also, more and more bishops are finding it opportune to administer Confirmation in the older Rite and they are generous with their time and effort.

This is simply a normal pastoral activity of bishops that shouldn’t surprise or disturb anyone.

Also, it will become more and more prevalent in the future, I predict.

A demographic sink hole has been opening up underneath the Church for a long time.  COVID has accelerated the sink hole.   Large numbers of Catholics in name and baptism only will fall through that hole not to be seen again anytime soon.   The Church’s landscape is going to change.  I think that a few groups will remain strong in the Church, including Traditionalists (who are having lots of children, who are dedicated and generous with their money) as well as converts from a more Evangelical background and also some charismatics who have strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion.   These groups will find each other out of necessity.  There will be some friction, but I think something amazing will grow out of it.  And what binds them together will the TRADITIONAL LATIN  RITE, not the Novus Ordo.

This is the direction I see opening up for us.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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17 Responses to Wherein Fr Z responds to a question by Beans about the traditional rite of Confirmation

  1. kurtmasur says:

    “Large numbers of Catholics in name and baptism only will fall through that hole not to be seen again anytime soon. “

    Yes! And not only. I particularly find it fruitful that people like Faggioli are only providing generous amount of PR to the Extraordinary Form, even if their intentions may not be the best. For all the progress that has been made, there is still much more work to be done to further advance the TLM. The amount of ignorance or lack of awareness is still vast, whether amongst laymen or clergy.

  2. Thomas S says:

    The change of the form of Confirmation was scandalous when I recently learned what the old words were. From, “I sign thee with the sign of the Cross and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” to, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”?

    I don’t deny it’s validity, I understand the Pope has authority over matter and form, to a reasonable degree… but that change is so dramatic it bothers me. What was the need? What was the purpose?

    Makes Beans’ feigned concern over validity of old rite confirmations risible.

  3. teomatteo says:

    ” It really isn’t fair to ask a question of someone whom he blocks.”
    Yes. Was he being sincere or just trying to ‘get cha’?
    But you rose above the fracas and helped him and us out. Thank you.

  4. Titus says:

    While the part that specifically mentions the Pontificale is important here, it’s perhaps tangential to the precise question. I think the most pertinent part of Summorum Pontificum for the precise inquiry is Art. 1: “It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.”

    Now, that says “Missal,” but the sense of the whole document makes it applicable to all of the books covered by the authorization it conveys, including the Pontificale.

    The part of Article I reflects a judicial act by the Supreme Pontiff interpreting the legislative acts of his predecessors. Benedict said, in effect, “here is what these old decrees mean and do not mean.” The interpretation of legislation, of course, is a core judicial function. And just as he is the supreme earthly legislator, the pope is also the supreme earthly judge from whom no appeal lies.

    You can say, “that’s not right; Paul VI definitely intended to abrogate all of the old books, and the only reasonable interpretation of his legislative acts is that he did so.” And you could have, I suppose, a stimulating intellectual discussion on that point (which I am not conceding, even academically, of course; I am merely hypothesizing responses). But that’s all just whistling Dixie. Acts of the pope qua legislator mean what the pope qua judge say they mean, at least in all practical senses.

  5. Papal Fan says:

    Faggioli tweets and articles inspire contempt, disgust, and/or laughter toward him.

    However, the idea that Paul VI wanted to eliminate/replace the Mass with the one we received at the end of the 1960’s does have strong credibility.

    In a conversation between him and Jean Guitton after the latter asked the former why he wouldn’t allow the TLM to be celebrated:

    “[T]his so-called Mass of St. Pius V, as seen in Ecône, becomes the symbol of the condemnation of the Council. I will, however, not accept under any circumstances that which condemns the Council with a symbol. If this exception was accepted, the entire Council would be shaken. And, consequently the apostolic authority of the Council.”

    https://kevinsymonds.com/2018/07/23/paulvi-guitton-lefebvre/

  6. mysticalrose says:

    Can you imagine how miserable you would have to be to hold in contempt a child’s confirmation? Ideologues are brutal.

  7. truthfinder says:

    Considering the Jesuits were supposed to be suppressed forever, or in some translations ‘for eternity,’ anything is possible.

  8. robtbrown says:

    IMHO, the old rites were suppressed de facto but never de iure. Various forms of pressure were utilized to try to create the same situation as if the suppression had been de iure.

  9. robtbrown says:

    Thomas S,

    If the matter is specified in Scripture, the Church does not have the authority to change it.

  10. Gab says:

    I still don’t understand why this Beans person was so upset in the first place that a Bishop used the traditional Rite. How does it affect him anyway?

  11. Clinton R. says:

    What seems to rankle Beans and others with his mindsight is the Church did not start in the 1960’s. This fact upsets them so much they wish the Church to divorce herself from anything and everything (especially the Mass of All Time) that existed pre – Vatican II. A very sad and dark place these people live in. It was very generous of you, Father , to say Holy Mass for Faggioli and his family.

  12. jeb0001 says:

    “A demographic sink hole has been opening up underneath the Church for a long time. COVID has accelerated the sink hole. Large numbers of Catholics in name and baptism only will fall through that hole not to be seen again anytime soon. The Church’s landscape is going to change. I think that a few groups will remain strong in the Church, including Traditionalists (who are having lots of children, who are dedicated and generous with their money) as well as converts from a more Evangelical background and also some charismatics who have strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion. These groups will find each other out of necessity. There will be some friction, but I think something amazing will grow out of it. And what binds them together will the TRADITIONAL LATIN RITE, not the Novus Ordo.”

    I can already see this happening where I am. We have a relatively charismatic church where the young adults I know who go there have really strong devotion to the Eucharist and the saints. We have my parish where the priest is learning the TLM, has the St. Joseph altar set up for it permanently, and celebrates the NO in as traditional a way as the older parishioners will let him get away with. Finally, we have an FSSP parish. All three of these parishes are bursting at the seams with young adults and families and all of them network quite well together. We’ve already found each other. Now, I don’t know that it will be the TLM as it currently is that is the unifier, but if the two forms of the rite are allowed to influence each other and blend together then I could very easily see that happening and see the three groups more or less merging.

  13. jeb0001 says:

    “A demographic sink hole has been opening up underneath the Church for a long time. COVID has accelerated the sink hole. Large numbers of Catholics in name and baptism only will fall through that hole not to be seen again anytime soon. The Church’s landscape is going to change. I think that a few groups will remain strong in the Church, including Traditionalists (who are having lots of children, who are dedicated and generous with their money) as well as converts from a more Evangelical background and also some charismatics who have strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion. These groups will find each other out of necessity. There will be some friction, but I think something amazing will grow out of it. And what binds them together will the TRADITIONAL LATIN RITE, not the Novus Ordo.”

    I can already see this happening where I am. We have a relatively charismatic church where the young adults I know who go there have really strong devotion to the Eucharist and the saints. We have my parish where the priest is learning the TLM, has the St. Joseph altar set up for it permanently, and celebrates the NO in as traditional a way as the older parishioners will let him get away with. Finally, we have an FSSP parish. All three of these parishes are bursting at the seams with young adults and families and all of them network quite well together. We’ve already found each other. Now, I don’t know that it will be the TLM as it currently is that is the unifier, but if the two forms of the rite are allowed to influence each other and blend together then I could very easily see that happening and see the three groups more or less merging.

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  15. teomatteo says:

    Gab, my guess: Pride.

  16. Thomas S says:

    robtbrown,

    I appreciate the reply, but I’m not entirely sure the point you’re making. I acknowledged that the Pope’s authority is limited in alterations to matter and form. That’s why the wholesale change to the form of confirmation is troubling.

  17. Lucy Clare says:

    Thomas S, you can find answers to your question about the reasoning behind the change in the words of Confirmation in Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a brief but very rich explanation of the theology of Confirmation in both the Latin and Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. To quote, “We judge preferable the very ancient formula belonging to the Byzantine Rite, by which the Gift of the Holy Spirit himself is expressed.”

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