Rorate Caeli

Abbé Laguérie on Concelebration

Abbé Laguérie of the Good Shepherd Institute (IBP) has an interesting piece on his blog. In response to a question concerning concelebration, Fr. Laguérie lays out a convincing seven point argument explaining why priests can never be coerced into concelebrating contrary to what has been said about priests being obliged to concelebrate the Chrism Mass with the bishops of their dioceses. The following is a somewhat condensed version of Fathers seven points.

1) The major contention made by the motu proprio is that there is but one rite subsisting in two forms. To introduce a distinction between the effects of the ordinary and extraordinary forms would directly contradict not only the mind of the Pope on this matter but Catholic theology as well. Since both forms cannot be distinguished in terms of their validity, nor can they be distinguished in terms of the effects of their ecclesiastic communion, attempting to force a priest to show some sort of additional communion would be a gross abuse of authority. Those who contest this point of view should consider the proposition that priests and bishops who normally celebrate the ordinary form of the rite should be forced to occasionally celebrate the extraordinary form. Certainly we would never be foolish enough to require such a thing.

2) Canon 902 “fully entitle(s) (priests) to celebrate the Eucharist individually”. The same canon states that concelebration can only be practiced “(u)nless the benefit of Christ's faithful requires or suggests otherwise”. How would it be possible for the law to dispense priests from doing that which is necessary to their full communion with the Church?

3) Should all the Eastern Rites on the Catholic Church be required to demonstrate their communion by concelebrating the liturgy promulgated by Pope Paul VI? It certainly hasn’t happened up to this point. Greeks, Melkites, Copts, Syriacs, Slavons, Maronites, etc… Will they all be asked to demonstrate their communion in this fashion? One should shudder to even ask. Their answer may be less then courteous.

4) Of course such a proposition flies in the face of the Second Vatican Council which affirms in Sacrosanctum Concilium (I,4) that all lawfully acknowledged rites are accorded equal right and dignity and that this diversity is considered an asset: “Even in the Liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity…” (ibid I, II 37). So to reduce all celebrations to a unique form, far from showing communion, will rather likely make things uncertain and problematic.

5) The idea is also contrary to the will of the reigning Pope as he has often expressed it. One example would be the Holy Father's words as delivered by his Secretary of State on the occasion of the funeral of Dom Gerard wherein he referred to “the beauty of the Latin liturgy, known to be increasingly a source of communion and unity in the Church."

6) As for the IBP, it is protected from any additional requirement by both its statutes and its decree of erection. But the argument can be made by others as well. If Rome grants the use of the extraordinary form as unique in itself it cannot also impose a supplemental theological requirement.

7) [Fr. Laguérie stresses that there are many pastoral arguments that can be developed and he leaves us with this one:]

“I have in mind the many priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X whom the Holy See, and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in particular with his legendary patience and kindness, desire to bring home. Be assured that such a last minute requirement would be entirely out of line and would only serve to reinforce rather than soften them in their positions.”

1 comment:

A Simple Sinner said...

Should all the Eastern Rites on the Catholic Church be required to demonstrate their communion by concelebrating the liturgy promulgated by Pope Paul VI?

I amnot sure this is entirely analagous. The Roman rite - in any form - is not normanative to Eastern Catholic Churches at all. Attempts to draw this parallel seemed strained and I think this is rather the weakest point presented.