Rorate Caeli

Pope Benedict on Summorum - UPDATED


This is the complete text of the Pope's answer to a question on Summorum Pontificum, in an interview granted yesterday on his Rome-Paris flight - the first public papal comment on Summorum since its publication (source: Holy See Press Office)

Question: What do you say to those who, in France, fear that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum signals a backtracking on the great intuitions of the Second Vatican Council? How could you reassure them?

Pope Benedict XVI: It is an unfounded fear, because this 'motu proprio' is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, know it and want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy. There is no opposition whatsoever between the liturgy renewed by the Second Vatican Council and this liturgy.

Each day [during the Council], the Council fathers celebrated Mass according to the ancient rite and, at the same time, conceived a natural development for the liturgy in all of this century, because the liturgy is a living reality that develops and that preserves its identity in its development.

Therefore, there are certainly distinct accents, but at the same time a fundamental identity that excludes a contradiction, an opposition between the renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy. I think that there is the possibility of an enrichment of both parties. On one side, the friends of the ancient liturgy may and should know the new saints, the new prefaces of the liturgy, etc. [sic], on the other hand, the new liturgy underlines more the common participation but, it is, always, not simply the assembly of a certain community, but always an act of the universal Church, in communion with all the faithful of all the ages and an act of adoration.

In this sense, it seems to me that there is a mutual enrichment and it is clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our time.

34 comments:

francesco said...

I think this clarifies that the Pope is not retreating in any way. He is simply addressing the concerns of the French progressive bishops by using their own language of tolerance to prove a point. If they are such enlightened, tolerant, modern people, why are they so intolerant towards what is a small group? Unless they want to be seen as total hypocrites, the French bishops have no other option now but to stop harassing and hindering traditional Catholics. The argument that the motu proprio is trying to impose the TLM and everything that goes long with it is complete and utter nonsense and unless they cannot read they know it.

David A. Werling said...

More positive. I agree with Jordanes, now that I've had some time to think and move back from my initial impression. We have to take into serious consideration the nature of the question, for starters. The pope wasn't asked about his thoughts regarding the TLM, but his thoughts concerning the concerns of the decidedly intolerant French.

I'm also more comfortable with his idea of "mutual enrichment" being concerned, from the side of the TLM, with the new saints. I'm glad that that portion of his remarks is now known.

Now that I feel more comfortable with response to the TLM question, I have to admit I was much more upset about his response regarding the separation of church and state. He said there was no contradiction between a notion of separation between church and state and the ideals of Catholicism. I imagine that will spark a bit of acrimony from traditionalists like myself if his comments stand without clarification.

LeonG said...

"mutual enrichment"

It is doubtful if Pope St Pius V or Pope St Pius X would have agreed with that sentiment.

Anonymous said...

I think a petition for a formal interpretation of SP should be signed by all Latin-Mass attendees and sent to the Holy Father and Cardinal Hoyos. We have RIGHTS under canon law, and it is tiresome to have to wait and wait and wait some more for clarifications that would perhaps avoid the mutual contradiction society of the Vatican on this issue. Is the 1962 to be tolerated, or is it in fact in full force, never abrogated and always permitted, AS OUR HOLY FATHER SAID LAST YEAR? J Brown

poeta said...

Yes, "the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our time." Which doesn't speak well of our time.

Anonymous said...

Were these comments extemporaneous?

Anonymous33

Joe B said...

He doesn't get it. It doesn't presuppose Latin or a certain culture, it presupposes a hatred of liturgical disrespect and cleverness, a love of liturgical reverence and beauty, and respect for authentic Catholic tradition.

I'd say we've gotten about as much as we're going to get from him. Now it's up to Heaven.

Dan Hunter said...

“It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy.”

My family and I have had next to no formation in Latin yet we assist at the Gregorian Rite Mass for the simple reason that I understand what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is now.
37 tears in the Novus Ordo and I had maybe a vague understanding at best.
Three years at the TLM and I can finally say that I understand. And this with barely any Latin formation.

Well, at least tolerating the Mass is better than intoleration.
Though, at least in my diocese this is only in theory because just a token “toleration”, is extended to the mass of every single canonized saint.

Maybe now we know why His Holiness has not offered one single Gregorian Mass in public since issuing Summorum Pontificum.
God bless our Holy Father!

David A. Werling said...

It is unclear to me if the "formation Latin" statement refers to the laity. I think it is more probable that the Holy Father is referring to the priest, not the laity. When in the history of the Latin Rite have all the laity been fluent in Latin? He's a pretty smart guy. I don't think he believes that the laity have to have a formation in Latin for simple fact that he knows his history. Historically, however, it was always the Church's goal that priests be thoroughly formed in Latin.

Anonymous said...

In His Holiness's final words, I can hear echoes of what the Œcumenical Patriarch said a few months ago about the ancient liturgy uniting us with our ancestors in all ages.

The idea, once again, of a mutual "enrichment" suggests that the Pope is considering a very slow and very gradual fusion of the two Masses, one which might, at most, begin in this pontificate and then continue for the next century or so. This and other comments of his suggest a 'classical liturgy' which would eventually have the N.O. propers in their three-year cycle, some of the N.O. prefaces, the N.O. calendar, the Gregorian Offertory at least as an option, the abolition of some of the Eucharisic Prayers, the restoration of the Indulgentiam and other changes to 'Penitential Rite No. 1' in the traditional direction, perhaps the optional restoration of the Placeat Tibi, perhaps the restoration of the Traditional Consecration formula (at least when using E.P. No. 1), Mass celebrated versus solem orientem for everyone, Communion received kneeling and on the tongue, at least one Mass per diocese entirely in the Latin tongue, restoration of smells and bells at least as options, and so forth.

Of course, I oppose all of this. There is absolutely nothing in the N.O. which is an improvement, and merging quality with trash only gives you mediocrity. This Pope seems especially insistent on the superiority of the N.O. propers and their three-year cycle. He is an impressive intellectual but, like so many people of that sort, I think that he fails to appreciate the extent to which Joe Pew has a hard enough time digesting the Pauline epistles we already have in the T.L.M. Joe Pew would be befuddled and lost by treble the number of lections (three readings over three years). Such an enormous concentration on the Word tends also to take emphasis away from the Sacrifice and thereby make the Mass closer to a Protestant Service. That, of course, is what Bugnini intended.

We must keep in mind that this Pope is mostly doing a good thing, even if his vision is imperfect. But what he intends for it and what God intends for it might not be identical.

We must also keep in mind that this Pope must needs be diplomatic. He is going to France partly to assure the powers-that-be there. He will not tell them that he has come to undo Vatican II. Instead, he wishes to assure them that the coming changes are slow, gradual, and minimal.

Some people have been over-reacting. It is clear that, for the next ten years at least, his purpose is mainly to restore the T.L.M. as a option for those who are attached to it. By the way, he is not saying that laics who favour the T.L.M. must understand Latin, only that formation in Latin would be ideal for them.

There is a danger here for us, however. The danger is that this Pope may at least take one or two baby-steps in the direction of merging the Missals. We don't much mind if he alters NewMass. But we don't want him to alter the Mass of the Ages. I suspect that his first baby-step might be to allow the optional use of the new lectionary. This was approved in 1991 for the Indult Masses (by a decision of the P.C.E.D.) but then overrided (ironically) in 2007 when "Summorum Pontificum" replaced all the provisions of "Quattuor Abhinc Annos". I think that very few T.L.M.s currently being celebrated would switch to the new lectionary but that some priests learing the old Mass for the first time might use it. We need to be on our guard.

Now is the time for a universal diocese for tradition. We need our own home!

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Victoria, Canada

Jordanes said...

Anonymous33 asked: Were these comments extemporaneous?

If I remember right from previous similar "in-flight interviews," certain questions are approved in advance, but I'm not sure if the Holy Father gets to think about them and give a prepared answer.

Joe B said: I'd say we've gotten about as much as we're going to get from him. Now it's up to Heaven.

Never underestimate what Heaven can do. We may well get much more from him.

Dan Hunter said: 37 tears in the Novus Ordo and I had maybe a vague understanding at best.

37 tears, eh? A Freudian slip? ;-)

Richard said...

Enough with Papal remarks that are vague and open to interpretations from this or that blogger.

Simply put...I long for the Holy Father to offer the TLM publicly.

I long for the Holy Father to confirm Cardinal Castrillion's claim that the he (the Holy Father) desires that each Latin Church parish offer the TLM.

Please, Holy Father, do not simply issue remarks that allow for this or that interpretation.

Simply Offer the TLM...declare that each Latin Church parish should offer the TLM regularly.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with the Pope is that he believes to much into cultural diversity,he doesnt believe Latin can be returned to the Church completely like it was prior to the Council. i believe it better be because if the priests aren't being trained like the Traditional orders are and in the importance of Latin ,the disintegrationwill be even worse,it will become more noticable after the last of the pre-Vatican parishoners die off, they are the last you at least feel obligated to attend mass.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Don't expect anything more from Benedict XVI with regards to the Mass.
It would be wonderful if he made some rulings in favor of Catholic tradition, ordering the TLM in every parish on Sundays, supressing many Vatican II abuses...such as liturgical dance, protestantizations, Communion in the Hand, Altar girls....

Pray for it....but expect NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

An overwhelmingly disappointing answer whose positive comments here seem to be rationalizing. It is said that Michael Davies in his last days realized that he had been duped by this man now styled Pope Benedict. Ratzinger is one of the main creators of the Vatican II debacle.
The confusion remains by design. Let this man so tolerant of "the few" (truly absurd) celebrate the ancient Mass while in France and let him be overwhelmed by the crowds.

William

Anonymous said...

Even though there is a heavy smog that disfigures and prevents the 'lamp-post' of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from being manifested as a sacrament and sacrifice, nonetheless the Pauline vernacular Mass is still authentic just as much as a child born with multiple birth defects is authentic.
There is still an immortal soul in the actually existing child and no one has the right to kill, abort, or even to abrogate it, like some fervently desire. The Pauline Mass is still credibile despite the defects. It's a crumb, not a whole loaf. It still contains the doctrine of transubstantiation as does the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite, which shows no obvious "birth defects." God still expects "reverence" for the "crumbs," the so-called leftovers, as Christ did in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Let us not underestimate the "fiat voluntas Tua" of God.

In our time, we are being asked by Heaven to reverence the transcendent life-giving sacrifice of Christ, given to us in two inseparable forms, its ordinary and extradordinary forms of the one single Roman Rite, much like "two sides of the one same coin" of the Eucharistic sacrifice. At the present time, this is God's celestial "vocare" and it is up to us to put it into practice, and not to make one the indult of the other, nor that one abort the other.

Anonymous said...

"...Simply put I long for the Holy Father to offer the TLM publicly..."

People you just don't get it! He really doesn't want to use the traditional liturgy (even though he did a few times as a cardinal to attempt to lure trads into the Novus Ordo). He is a faithful son of Vatican II and its novelties and he can't bear the thought of giving them up.

He is cut from the same cloth as his immediate predecessors. It's quite simple you see! There has been no real change of heart – just a tad more tolerance for trads.

Anonymous said...

What's with the less-than-deal vestments we've been seeing throughout this trip? Not that they're as bad at the Marini I days, but I would think Msgr. Marini would've put together a more impressive set. If nothing else, the French have taste! ;)

-Garrett

Anonymous said...

Oh, and is it really possible that there truly might NEVER be a day when the Novus Ordo is completely and totally banned?

The chances seem slim, given the fact that Benedict used the argument that generations of Catholics had been formed in the Traditional Rite and therefore it could never be abrogated since it was part of Catholic patrimony. It seems the same argument may be used in, say, 100 years by those who wish to keep the Novus Ordo around: "You can't ban a Mass and Rite which for decades and generations has been part of our Catholic patrimony."

And, unfortunately, maybe they'll have a point. But I question whether it really is illicit to simply ban certain Catholic patrimonies. The Council of Trent certainly didn't think it was illicit when it did away with rites and usages newer than 200 years at that time.

The fact of the matter is, too, that I no of no period in the history of our Holy Church in which the idea of "two forms, one rite" has ever been espoused, as it by our Holy Father in SP. It seems like utter novelty that may in the end serve the Enemy.

-Garrett

John McFarland said...

In talking of those with and "attachment" to the Old Mass, the Pope is of course talking about people like the great majority of those who post on this blog. If anyone had any doubt that the SSPX is now in a separate bucket from the motuists, this "attachment" talk should settle it. No one in his right mind would define the SSPX in terms of an attachment to the Old Mass.

He is putting you as well as French public opinion on notice that you and your desire to have the Old Mass are not a terribly important part of his thinking. You are the rear guard of liturgical history, your attachment is really just sentimental, and sooner or later you will be absorbed into the next Hegelian synthesis. He probably has no particular plan along those lines, since the final absorption will take place after his time. It may well be that he thinks that you will play a valuable role in the synthesis. But that's the best you can expect.

Against this background, I continue to think that Mr. Perkins' bulletproof universal diocese for motuist traditionalism is a pipe dream. If it were really bulletproof, it would frustrate the ultimate digestion of motuist traditionalism. So it'll never be bulletproof. It will be a matter of trying to get you to bite on something less than bulletproof, and then begin the process of reeling you in.

Curiously enough, Mr. Perkins himself spins out a very plausible scenario of how this reeling in is going to work, and yet thinks that somehow he can get an institutional structure from the man to whom he attributes this scenario that will protect him from this scenario! As Mr. Perkins no doubt knows, the MP was the best part of a miracle. If I were he, I wouldn't bank on a second.

I would add that if a bulletproof traditionalism were fashioned, the SSPX and those who think like it wouldn't and couldn't join it, because the primary issue is not the Mass; it is the Faith.

Unless and until the motuists understand this, the Vatican will keep playing with their heads, and they will keep playing with their own heads, and best case it will all go nowhere, and worst case they will be reeled in.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McFarland:

I don't think that my universal diocese idea is bulletproof: there is no security sub lunam. I don't trust in Benedict XVI; I trust in God. But God asks us to use our wits. We can't use His, only our own. We should do our best with what we can, and use human reason to assure the best outcome, knowing that, in the end, God's will shall prevail.

One can always dream up excuses to disobey Christ's Vicar on earth. For that, you only need a fertile imagination. But that is not what Catholics are called to do. We are called to obey and work under the Pope when we can, trusting not in him but in Him. Yes, there are cases when obedience is impossible. But when it is possible, we must obey, while offering up the risks and dangers as sacrifices.

In the circumstances, the universal diocese or equivalent affords us the best protection we can manage. We should, therefore, work for its foundation. Would its grant be another miracle, as you put it? Indeed it would. But, to God, two miracles are just as difficult or easy as one: all things are simple to Him.

Those in the S.S.P.X need to ask themselves if their continuing disobedience is strictly necessary to protect the faith. It is not. They can accept the universal structure and protect their property in civil corporations. Rome will not ask them to compromise on principle. They can't be bound to accept non-infallible teaching. The worst case scenario, doctrinally, is that Rome, for the time being, will decline to impose traditional interpretations of the Council on present generations, while allowing the S.S.P.X to hold exactly the views its members (and many others, such as I) defend and proclaim.

If we wait for perfect weather, we shall never set sail. The Barque of Peter is waiting. But should the universal structure prove unworkable, God will find other ways to reverse the conciliar revolution. Trust in Him; trust in His Holy and Immaculate Mother.

If the Pope preaches another Gospel, do not follow the Pope insofar as this is so. However, you must still obey him as far as possible, out of respect for his place. If he allows you a place to preach the true Gosepel under his authority, which he does, then you are bound by the keys to accept it.

Peter Karl T. Perkins

Anonymous said...

On Garrett's comments:

I agree with you that the two Masses are NOT two forms of one rite. The Pope is dead wrong to say, as he does in S.P., that they are. They are, in fact, two separate Rites of Mass. We are not bound to agree with everything in S.P. One thing we know for sure is that S.P. directly contradicts De Missali Romano of 1971, which claimed to forbid the old Mass except for ageing and retired priests. One of these two papal acts had to be wrong; otherwise, the law of contradiction is false!

So, just as Paul VI made an error in law in 1971, so also Benedict XVI made an error in law in 2007 when he proclaimed that the two were forms of one single rite.

Not to worry. D.M.R., 1971, is now set aside. One day, the one false part of S.P. will also be set aside. The truth with out: it's Author will see to that.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

In regard to some of the negative remarks about Benedict XVI's character, and how he is said to be just like his predecessors:

This sort of thinking shows a lack of judgement. Matters of truth are black and white when it comes to first principles, but human character is more complex.

I don't pretend to understand Benedict XVI completely. Even his mother would not. But I note, first of all, that his views are likely quite distinct from those of his predecessors. Just look at the changes in symbol we have seen over the past three years.

Secondly, we need to keep in mind that people actually change their views. Lo and behold! Can you believe it? Of course I can. I have changed my own views over my lifetime (on some things). Therefore, I can easily imagine others doing so.

True, the Holy Father has never publicly repudiated very worrisome statements made by him in the past. But I judge that numerous signs made by him show a change in perspective.

I don't expect that this Pope will morph into a St. Piux X. Not a chance. On the other hand, I do think that he has changed many of his views, and even if he has not gone nearly far enough, he is preparing the way for successors who do not have his particular conciliar baggage.

Let's not assume that every possibility is black. Work and pray--and be of good cheer.

P.K.T.P.

Confiteor said...

If we wait for perfect weather, we shall never set sail. The Barque of Peter is waiting. But should the universal structure prove unworkable, God will find other ways to reverse the conciliar revolution. Trust in Him; trust in His Holy and Immaculate Mother.

If the Pope preaches another Gospel, do not follow the Pope insofar as this is so. However, you must still obey him as far as possible, out of respect for his place. If he allows you a place to preach the true Gosepel under his authority, which he does, then you are bound by the keys to accept it.


Very well said, P.K.T.P.

I agree ... that the two Masses are NOT two forms of one rite. The Pope is dead wrong to say, as he does in S.P., that they are. They are, in fact, two separate Rites of Mass.

I used to believe the same. However, I have come to believe that what the Pope says in SP is, technically speaking, correct. The NOM and TLM are both forms of the Latin Rite. The Latin Rite and the Byzantine Rite are two separate Rites of Mass. The NOM and the TLM are both of the Latin Rite. What Papa withholds from saying is that the NOM is a deformation of the Latin Rite.

Anonymous said...

On Confiteor's last comment about the forms and the Rites, I have written extensively on this matter. I submit that you are mistaken. I have to run off to Mass today. I hope to return on this. Essentially, they are two separate Rites because (1) law follows and takes account of reality, not existing in a vacuum, and (2) the differences between the two in EVERY category recognised by liturgiologists is complete. Suppose that Bugnini had written a Mass which had less in common with the T.L.M. than the T.L.M. has with the Byzantine Rite. Would we then be able to say that, just because this New Bugnini Mass used the T.L.M. as its blueprint and was derived from it historically within the same ritual church, that the two were mere forms of one Rite? Not.

Consider this. If the Ambrosian Mass is a Rite (as Rome says it is) and not merely a Use of the Roman Rite, and if the Ambrosian Rite is closer to the T.L.M. than is the N.O., then how can the N.O. and T.L.M. be different forms of the same thing? They cannot.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

True, the traditional Roman Rite and the reformed Roman Rite are different rites, but they are two uses of the Roman Rite.

Law follows and takes account of reality (well, it's supposed to, anyway) -- that, I think, is why the Holy Father speaks of the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Latin liturgy as two uses of a single Rite. The Latin Rite, the Roman Rite, is the Rite of the Church of Rome, and there is no denying the reality that the Roman Church's Rite is the reformed one. There is also no denying the reality that Latin Rite priests are empowered to celebrate according to either use, without needing an indult or special certification to become biritual.

In time, one may well expect the two uses, which truly are more unlike than alike, to separate definitively and became two Rites, but at this time the Roman Church treasures two uses of its Rite.

Confiteor said...

In time, one may well expect the two uses, which truly are more unlike than alike, to separate definitively and became two Rites ...

An intriguing possibility, yet obviously quite the opposite of what Pope Benedict XVI himself intends with the idea of "mutual enrinchment".

It has been rightly observed that the Holy Spirit will use the Motu Proprio in ways that exceed the Pope's all-too-human intentions and expectations.

Paul Haley said...

An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Your Holiness,

With the greatest respect for your position I find it necessary to ask some questions with respect to the following quote:

Quote:
Question: What do you say to those who, in France, fear that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum signals a backtracking on the great intuitions of the Second Vatican Council? How could you reassure them?


Quote:
Pope Benedict XVI: It is an unfounded fear, because this 'motu proprio' is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, know it and want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy.


This quotation, if accurate, seems to fly in the face of your statement in the motu proprio itself:

Quote:
But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms.


And further, in your letter to the bishops accompanying the motu proprio, you stated:

Quote:
“Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.”


And, still further in the same letter you said:

Quote:
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”


And so, it is with the greatest reluctance that I ask whether the opening quote is not in conflict with succeeding quotes and whether the opening quote does not appear to marginalize the hopes and expectations of millions attached to the sacred liturgy codified and promulgated by St. Pius V at the direction of the Council of Trent? And I ask still another question which lies at the root of this discussion:

Can a Council, eminently pastoral, as described by Pope Paul VI, override the dictates of a doctrinal council such as Trent and institute as the normative Mass of the Roman Rite a Mass that offers, according to Cardinal Ottaviani, “both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent?”

Your Holiness, we do not claim the new Mass is invalid and we accept your authority as the Vicar of Christ but we cannot understand the seeming contradictions in the series of quotes contained in this letter. It would seem that the Church is taking one step forward in the motu proprio and two steps backward in the marginalizing of those attached to the previous Missal. To us the previous Missal clearly proclaims what we believe as Catholics and elevates our worship to the dignity and respect it most surely deserves. In a word the traditional Mass is to us God-centered whereas the new Mass appears egocentric at least as it is celebrated in many places.

Perhaps the media on the way to France misquoted you or your remarks have been misinterpreted. In any case it would seem advisable to issue a clarification which unmistakably places the Traditional Latin Mass in the position it deserves and “preserves the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and gives them their proper place.” Indeed, it has been suggested by some that your celebration of the traditional Mass according to the previous Missal would do much to put this matter to rest.

May the assistance of the Holy Spirit be with you as you continue your pontificate and may the unity of all Catholics be our constant goal and focus.

Jordanes said...

It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture.

But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms.

No contradiction. "No small numbers" does not mean "a large group." Those "no small numbers" are still pretty small when compared with the total population of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father's point is that even though it's a small group, their numbers are not insignificant, and it would be immoral to ride roughshod over them or to discriminate against them due to their adherence to the Latin Church's liturgical heritage.

whether the opening quote does not appear to marginalize the hopes and expectations of millions attached to the sacred liturgy codified and promulgated by St. Pius V

By reminding the French bishops that they have a duty to show charity and tolerance and understanding to the comparatively small number of Catholics who live the traditional liturgy, is he not supporting their hopes and expectations?

By the way, I've never heard any kind of figures, but does anybody have even a ballpark figure for the numbers of Catholics who adhere to the traditional liturgy? There are about a billion Catholics on earth today. What percentage are attached to the traditional Roman Rite?

Can a Council, eminently pastoral, as described by Pope Paul VI, override the dictates of a doctrinal council such as Trent

Trent's dictate regarding the revision of the Roman Missal was not doctrinal.

and institute as the normative Mass of the Roman Rite a Mass that offers, according to Cardinal Ottaviani, “both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent?”

Departing from theology is not the same thing as departing from doctrine. Anyway, the Council did not institute the reformed Roman Rite, Paul VI did. The Council merely authorised that the Roman Rite be reformed in various ways. And yes, the Pope either alone or with a General Council has the authority to reform the liturgy, but as others have said, there is a difference between lawful authority and moral authority.

Perhaps the media on the way to France misquoted you or your remarks have been misinterpreted.

There has been no misquote: New Catholic obtained the Pope's words from the Holy See.

Misinterpreted, though, no doubt, and it's interesting that some traditionalists seem to favor a construal of his words that one would expect to hear from opponents of the traditional liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Is the Mass more important than the Faith, accidentally, extrinsically or modally? Sounds not a little Protestant. True Catholicism is not only belief in Christ, the only Redeemer of man, who established and founded Her, but the One who instituted the Sacraments,the greatest of which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass [the sending forth of the followers of Christ into the world]. Faith and the Mass are indissolubly married. The Mass is a necessary source of adherence that re-presents to the faithful the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the transubstantiated forms of bread and wine that are miraculously changed into His Body and Blood. Faith is the alpha, but not the omega. We truly worship THE LAMB ONCE SLAIN, belief that traditionally and intrinsically includes faith, sacrament and sacrifice. This is the divinely revealed doctrine of the Catholic Church, not something else that is essentially a divorce from Divine Revelation.

Paul Haley said...

Jordanes said: "Misinterpreted, though, no doubt, and it's interesting that some traditionalists seem to favor a construal of his words that one would expect to hear from opponents of the traditional liturgy."

Would you please explain who it is that you claim speak as if they were opponents of the traditional liturgy? And, with all due respect your statement: "No small numbers" does not mean "a large group" makes very little sense. No one can estimate exactly how many are attached to the previous Missal but it is not unreasonable to think that the number is in the millions and even reaches into those areas where the traditional Mass has been suppressed. However, what import do numbers have in this equation? Either it is sacred and to be revered or it is not.

So, if I understand you correctly you are claiming that the pope is telling the French bishops that to tolerate the traditionalists is the same thing as telling them to welcome them with open arms? I find this argument to be disingenuous at best.

With respect to the weight of the two councils I submit that Session 22 of the Council of Trent was certainly doctrinal in nature and the papal bull Quo Primum clearly cited the mandate of Trent in promulgating the missal. Not only that but the bull was intended to last in perpetuity and those very words were included in the bull itself. However, even though Paul VI instituted the revised Missal it was clear that he felt he was acting in accord with the intent of the Second Vatican Council.

Finally, the French episcopate have been notorious in opposing the motu proprio and Cardinal Vingt-Trois, particularly, has lobbied against it. Would you claim that the pope was taking the good cardinal to task with his remarks to the media? I submit that he was not but was trying to placate him instead.

Anonymous said...

The Mystical Body of the Church of Christ is at the same time a sacramental faith, not a "solo fide" Church founded by Christ. The true Chuch is an ecclesial and sacramental reality, since Christ alone instituted the sacraments as outward signs that transmit the grace of His eternal sacrifice. Just as a good tree bears good fruit, so the sacraments of the Church bear the spiritual fruit of virtue through which one can fulfill the commandment of the love of God and which in turn is carried out in the love of neighbor. Thus, the tree of faith is not barren or fruitless; it bears the sacramental fruit of eternal life that comes from participation in the life of the Risen Christ.

In the Catholic Church, there is an "inseparable connection" between faith and sacrament, particularly in the sacrament of the Eucharist, just as the body is inseparable from the immortal and spiritual soul in the created and redeemed human person.

Jordanes said...

Paul said: Would you please explain who it is that you claim speak as if they were opponents of the traditional liturgy?

I didn't say they speak as if they were opponents of the traditional liturgy. I said they seem to favor a construal of the Holy Father's words that one would expect to hear from opponents of the traditional liturgy. I have encountered complaints that the Pope's comments give support to those who argue that only those who know Latin and were already assisting at Tridentine Masses prior to SP have a right to the traditional liturgy. The Pope obviously neither said nor meant anything of the sort, but it's interesting to find traditionalists arguing that the Pope's words actually mean what an opponent of the traditional liturgy might claim they mean. For examples, read the prior discussion here and at the WDTPRS weblog.

And, with all due respect your statement: "No small numbers" does not mean "a large group" makes very little sense.

Why not? Since when has "no small numbers" meant "the majority," or "a large number"? It only means that the number is not tiny or insignificant, not that the number is especially large.

No one can estimate exactly how many are attached to the previous Missal but it is not unreasonable to think that the number is in the millions and even reaches into those areas where the traditional Mass has been suppressed.

Of course no one "estimate exactly" -- if it's an estimate, it is by definition inexact. But we can always estimate.

However, what import do numbers have in this equation? Either it is sacred and to be revered or it is not.

Numbers are always important in equations. But if numbers are not important, why are you even concerned about an apparent contradiction between "a small group" and "no small number"?

So, if I understand you correctly you are claiming that the pope is telling the French bishops that to tolerate the traditionalists is the same thing as telling them to welcome them with open arms?

No. It's the Pope who has done the "tolerating" and the welcoming, by issuing Summorum Pontificum, and he is reminding his brother bishops of France (and by extension all Catholics of France) that they ought to do as he has done.

With respect to the weight of the two councils I submit that Session 22 of the Council of Trent was certainly doctrinal in nature and the papal bull Quo Primum clearly cited the mandate of Trent in promulgating the missal.

Conciliar mandates to edit and promulgate liturgies are never doctrinal in nature. It makes no difference that Trent was a dogmatic council while Vatican II was pastoral: both dealt in both doctrine and discipline.

Not only that but the bull was intended to last in perpetuity and those very words were included in the bull itself.

Yes, and Holy Scripture says the Jewish Passover is to be observed in perpetuity. A papal bull is of less weight than words inspired by the Holy Spirit, and yet the Church no longer celebrates the Jewish Passover.

The Holy Father says the old Mass has never been abrogated, and he has argued that at least morally it really cannot be, but that doesn't cancel the Church's authority to modify the liturgy.

Would you claim that the pope was taking the good cardinal to task with his remarks to the media?

No. This Pope has never been one to take people to task. He prefers honey to vinegar.

I submit that he was not but was trying to placate him instead.

Not "placate" him exactly: rather calm him and reassure him, and signal to him that SP is here to stay so it would be better if he accepts it, even embraces it.

John McFarland said...

Dear Mr. Perkins,

There is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptims, one Church. If the Pope teaches less than the whole Faith, he is not teaching the Faith. He is traducing the Faith. And as you well know, he is not teaching the whole Faith. Objectively speaking, he is not performing his duties as Christ's Vicar; he is doing something else.

At bottom, what you are arguing for is a place for tradition in a crazyquilt Church, based ultimately on the Pope's belief that the unity of the Church is the unity of differented unity or unified differentiation or whatever the exact self-contradictory buzzword is. The Pope has a bad conscience about taking every movement and nut cult and theology to his paternal bosom, but not doing the same for those trads who will accept their own piece of his Unified but Diverse, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Now maybe this can be made to work such that the Novus Ordo won't impinge on the Motu Reservation. But I wouldn't bet on it. The Pope's feeling is not widely shared in the hierarchy; he is not inclined by principle or personality to crack the whip, and there's not much reason to believe that the hierarchy would pay him any heed if he tried. I would also note that for someone who presumably has about as much Vatican knowledge and influence as I or any other layman -- none--, you seem remarkably assured that you will get your heart's desire.

But that's not the real point. The real point is that the Faith and the Church are one; and if the Pope will not teach the Faith and rule the Church as one, in accordance with the will of Christ, then he cannot be followed; all that can really be done is to follow those bishops and priests who will do what he will not do, and pray that he come to his senses.

As the SSPX has been saying since 1988, the indultist and now motuist spirit is intellectally and morally untenable. Either you're accepting the Pope's crazyquilt theory of the Church's unity, in which case you're just Vatican II supporters with an attachment to smells and bells and/or believers in the Old Mass as the best defense against Clown Masses and the like; or you don't believe in the crazyquilt Church, in which case you're in transparent bad faith, since his crazyquilt vision is the only reason why Pope Benedict thinks he must tolerate you.

In the Church, there is no such thing as a loyal opposition. Our "attachment" is to the Faith and the Church. As long as the Pope does not share this attachment, and often makes his case by saying 2+2=4 one day and 2+2=5 the next, our loyalty to him must be very limited.

I also must point out your steadfast refusal to admit a basic psychological and "political" fact: if you accept the approval of the Vatican, it is very hard to bite the hand that fed you, and your loyal opposition inevitably tends to become more and more loyal, and less and less opposition.

The Barque of Peter is indeed waiting; but it is primarily waiting for Pope Benedict to live up to his duties as Pope.

P.S. I really don't understand your preoccupation with the politics of interpreting Vatican II in the light of tradition. As you yourself say in as many words, it was a revolution. If (God willing) the counter-revolution comes, why should it not simply ignore Vatican II, as the conciliar Church has ignored (for example) the teachings of St. Pius X?