DEVELOPMENT re: St Peter’s TLM Suppression. This could say something about rumored attack on Summorum Pontificum


Bottom line… if there were serious talk in the Curia about suppressing Summorum, this news militates against it.

This is like clock work.  I’m trying to get on the road and this pops up.   So, without access to my laptop, etc., I’m working on an old Celeron!  It’s Zuhlsdorf’s Law.

You recall the St. Peter’s Suppression of Holy Mass in the Traditional Reform issued by the Secretariat of State founded on the most absurd of arguments about decorum, blah blah blah.

Today the Archpriest of the Basilica issued his own document which slightly walks back the harshness purposely levelled at the priests who desire to use the TLM, and therefore at Pope Benedict (still living).

After a great deal of rambling and gassy prose, you find some information about the Extraordinary Form:

Not my translation, below.

BUT… skip to EXCEPTIONS on the 2nd page.

“Everything possible must be done” to accommodate those who want to use the provisions of Summorum.  That’s a little funny, if you’ve lived in clerical circles in Rome.  A common response to requests is a wry smile, raised palms and a drawn out, “Non possumus!”

Permission for groups with “special needs” will be granted.  Who knows what that means.


Requests for individual celebrations can also be discerned from time to time, without prejudice to the principle that everything should take place in an atmosphere of recollection and decorum with vigilance so that what is exceptional does not become ordinary, distorting the intentions and the sense of the Magisterium.

Several points.   Which groups do you think are more likely to violate “decorum” in the Basilica?  A priest with some lay people for a LOW MASS at a side altar a zillion meters away from the chapels where some NO concelebration might be happening or perhaps a group of young people from Calabria with their guitars and gray-shirted cool priest in Italian?

And since when do these folks worry about the exceptional becoming the ordinary?   Like… Communion in the hand?

“Distorting the sense of the Magisterium….”?  Could someone please read me Benedict’s Letter with the release of Summorum?

Now look at the text yourself.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Prayerful says:

    It could perhaps suggest that the rumoured suppression of approved TLM will not happen, as I thought. This could well be a classic kite flying exercise. The kite didn’t fly too well, so some Italian bishops won’t get their wish. Yet it could be a sort of signal. Nothing might happen with the TLM suppression, but it could serve as a signal that Rome won’t be hostile to bishops who want rid of Summorum Pontificum, or like in Dijon, want rid of TLM only priests.

  2. JustaSinner says:

    So what if a priest with some lay persons were to conduct a Latin Mass in the Basilica? Do the Vatican cops come and file a 182 or 1017 on the offending celebrants? Are they ex communicated? Does their local Bishop cancel them? And if they are, can they go to another diocese or can they become a Walmart greeter?
    Just some questions from this punk…

  3. jz says:

    Fr. Z – I have a request for you on this. Can you let us know what the actual outcome of this is? As in has there been an increase in the number of Masses and number of people attending them? After the dictate came down from the Secretariat of State, I never really saw anything that spoke of the actual effect. Was it strictly enforced? Was the TLM really moved into its own little ghetto that most likely nobody knew how to find?

  4. Danteewoo says:

    It’s hard to take the Church seriously at times. Paul VI all but eliminated the Traditional Mass, and he is canonized. Marcel Lefebvre almost single-handedly saved it, and he is excommunicated. Benedict tells us that the old Mass wasn’t really done away with, as virtually every Churchman for close to forty years had told us it had been. Cardinal Burke tells us that the SSPX is in schism, and yet Francis had given them faculties for Confession. More locally, a female friend of mine, an extraordinary minister of Communion, thinks that Francis is an antipope. My daughter had to pay for a $50 class to have her son baptized — my Missouri Lutheran Synod pastor friend offered to do it for free! I probably shouldn’t laugh, but what else?

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    More Bergoglian checkers. Just throw the dogs a bone.

  6. kurtmasur says:

    I wonder if “Hagan lío” has factored into any of this? Perhaps “Hagan lío” is all that it would take to make the libs think twice before tampering with Summorum Pontificum.

    Of course, this is all speculation from my side, but something tells me that the Vatican was overwhelmed with letters of complaint about the TLM suppression at St. Peter’s Basilica. Or, perhaps, Mass attendance during the 7-9 AM time slot actually plummeted after the Secretariat of State’s decree went into effect months ago?

  7. Kathleen10 says:

    Perhaps Rome realized this was the proverbial straw for numerous Catholics. It’s been like a bad boxing match for 8 years, the faithful feel abused. You can only push people so far and then they snap and all bets are off. If it was considered this was a proper time to tinker with SP, then they miscalculated. It’s not like there’s nowhere to go.

  8. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr Z,
    Could the Holy Father suspend all Masses world wide indefinitely if he so chose? Of course we still have NO MASS here in Chile, and that is out of total obedience (supported by the Holy Father) to the secular government by the Chilean bISHOPS. But that got me thinking…. could the Pope suspend all Masses and Sacraments if he so chose indefinitely? Just food for thought.

  9. Tim Staples was talking about the rumors about Summorum Pontificum just now on Catholic Answers Live and he thinks they don’t have much substance either, for what it’s worth.

  10. Bthompson says:

    None the less, I am a bit concerned that he speaks about these rules and exceptions as matters of Magisterium, that is doctrine/teaching.

    So much of it is just policy and law. Virtually none of it is ofor relating to anything of divine origin.

    Clearly he wants to insist that it is a matter of belief that concelebration is superior, and that there is something at least inferior, at most pointless–or even harmful–in priests celebrating their own Masses.

    These people! Even when begrudgingly conceding to the rights of others, they still feel compelled to shove the camel’s nose a little further into the tent.

  11. Athelstan says:

    The Vatican is a tolerably big and diverse bureaucracy, though.

    This could be nothing more than a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or, simplying disagreeing with the right hand.

    So nice as it sounds, I’m reluctant to let this development get my hopes up about what’s impending for Summorum Pontificum.

  12. Athelstan says:

    Hello Kurt,

    Or, perhaps, Mass attendance during the 7-9 AM time slot actually plummeted after the Secretariat of State’s decree went into effect months ago?

    Consider for a moment that this may have been the intention all along.

  13. Not says:

    TLM is all over the world. Unfortunately in Rome we find the most opposition.
    QUO PRIMUM should be shouted from the Housetops.

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