Rorate Caeli

Pope to the Bishops of France
Strong words on Summorum Pontificum

It is never too often said that the priesthood is indispensable to the Church, in the very own interest of the lay faithful. Priests are a gift from God to the Church. Priests must never delegate to the faithful [those] functions which are related to their own mission. Dear Brothers in the episcopacy, I ask you to remain desirous to help your priests live in intimate union with Christ. Their spiritual life is the foundation of their apostolic life. You shall exhort them gently to daily prayer and to a dignified celebration of the Sacraments, particularly of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation, as Saint Francis de Sales did with his priests. Every priest should be able to feel glad to serve the Church. At the school of the Curé d'Ars, son of your land and patron of all priests of the world, do not cease to repeat that a man can do no greater deed than to give the Body and the Blood of Christ to the faithful, and to forgive sins. ...

Liturgical worship is the supreme expression of priestly and episcopal life, and also of catechetical teaching. Your mission of sanctification of the faithful people, dear Brothers, is indispensable for the growth of the Church. I was prompted to detail, in the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the conditions for the accomplishment of this mission, in that which relates to the possibility of using both the missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962) and that of Pope Paul VI (1970). The fruits of these new dispositions have already seen [the light of] day, and I hope that the indispensable pacification of the spirits is being accomplished, thank God.

I comprehend your difficulties, but I do not doubt that you will be able to reach, within reasonable time, solutions which are satisfactory to all, so that the seamless robe of Christ is not torn anymore. No one is excessive within the Church. Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected. God, who loves all men and wills that no one be lost, entrusts us with this mission of Pastors, making us Shepherds of His sheep. We can only give Him thanks for the honor and the confidence He places upon us. Let us endeavor to always be servants of unity.

10 comments:

Paul Haley said...

The Pope said:
"I comprehend your difficulties, but I do not doubt that you will be able to reach, within reasonable time, solutions which are satisfactory to all, so that the seamless robe of Christ is not torn anymore. No one is excessive within the Church. Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected. God, who loves all men and wills that no one be lost, entrusts us with this mission of Pastors, making us Shepherds of these flocks. We cannot but give Him thanks for the honor and the confidence He places upon us. Let us endeavor to always be servants of unity."

This says much more than his remarks to the media on his way to France and in a way takes the French episcopate to task for past failings. And, his allusion to a "reasonable time" probably means that he will be watching their actions closely. So be it and may the grace of God inspire the bishops to conform their wills to the motu proprio.

Joe B said...

"Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected."

Except Archbishop Lefebvre, of course.

FranzJosf said...

Given Vatical protocol and diplomacy, these are stern words from the Holy Father; they don't get much sterner, to Bishops, in public.

This casts a new light on his words to the press on the airplane. I feel much better now.

Anonymous said...

"Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected." Unfortunately, there are many of us clerics, because of our orthodoxy or traditionalism have been and still are rejected and abandoned by our bishops. There is a great suffering in our Church these days as we are called to carry our heavy crosses for the glory of God!
I stay anonymous!

Marty said...

Absolutly Franz! I've found that it's a good idea to wait a couple of days after B16 has said something on a particular subject before he again mentions and clarifies what he meant a couple of days later.
Many people on forums and blogs have really jumped the gun instead of waiting to digest what the HF has said.
His latest statements have made me feel a lot better too but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a knot in my guts after what he had said on Friday.
We must keep up our prayers for the Holy Father.

Antonio said...

The whole speech is great.
"Catechesis is not first and foremost a question of method, but of content..."
If only all parish priests knew this!

And that of "within reasonable time" sounds pretty good.

Let's continue praying for France, for the bishops (and, of course, for the Holy Father).

francesco said...

I think these comments vindicate the Holy Father, and I think they further show that some people here have been too quick to judge the Holy Father. This is the same man who WROTE Summorum Pontificum after all. At 80+ years old he isn't about to change his mind one year to the next.

Pope Benedict has stated clearly his vision for the Church's future over the years and the steps he has taken so far have shown that he is sincere(Summorum Pontificum, replacing P. Marini with G. Marini, replacing the old ferula with the "new" one, the "Benedictine" altar arrangement, celebrating a Mass in the Sistine Chapel ad orientem and calling for the greater use of ad orientem, actually sacred music & beautiful vestments for the most part, banning men with strong homosexual tendencies from the priesthood, to name a few).

I am amazed and dismayed at how quickly some people decided to dismiss the Holy Father based on a few comments he made in response to a question that really didn't need to be asked. A little bit more gratitude for all the Holy Father has done and is doing would be nice. I'm not saying that he has been going about everything perfectly. Criticism can be a good thing, but not when it is unfair and without any solid basis.

Viva il papa! May he celebrate the TLM soon!

Confiteor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iosephus said...

That's the best monstrance that they could come up with for the Pope to use??

Jim Capaldi said...

His Holiness said:
"Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected."

Could this mean that the invalid excommunications against the four SSPX bishops will be rescinded soon?