Rorate Caeli

Summorum Pontificum clarification document

We acknowledge the ongoing rumor about a possible publication of the clarification document of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in January 2009. Gregor Kollmorgen, of The New Liturgical Movement, offers a translation of the text published in the Italian religious news website Pontifex (Bruno Volpe):

The Instruction on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007 which liberalized Holy Mass according to the ancient Roman rite, has been ready for some time already and is now being examined by Pope Benedict XVI. This Pontifex has learned from authoritative sources. The text, signed by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, will be signed most likely by the Pope in late December and published in the first days of January 2009. In its most important parts the document, which had become indispensable after the many problems in the application of the Motu Proprio and forms of outright recalcitrance on the part of not a few bishops (incidentally appropriately denounced in September by the Vice President of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, Monsignor Camille Perl), addresses two crucial topics: the interpretation of the term "stable group of faithful" within an ordinary parish and the problem of personal parishes. It was even considered to list and to indicate a minimum number of faithful, but this solution has been discarded.

According to the document, the traditionalist faithful present in a parish will have the full protection of the law to ask for the old Mass, and if the bishop refuses (here is the news), saying that there are no priests capable of celebrating according to the ancient rite in that place, the Commission Ecclesia Dei will authoritatively ("di imperio") send a priest able to do so to that diocese. In short, the bishops will no longer be able to refuse a priori to have the old Mass celebrated, because in such cases, the Commission Ecclesia Dei will send a delegated priest of its own.

The document then analyzes the case of personal parishes in which the traditionalists want to celebrate the Christmas Mass or the Easter Triduum according to the ancient rite, also in cases of an absence of priests, or a prohibition by the bishop. The possibility of a shortage of priests could be envisaged, and also in this case, Ecclesia Dei will take care. The Holy See, therefore, wants to establish definitive clarity regarding the application of the Motu Proprio, and for this reason also the powers and prerogatives of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be better defined and strengthened.

We also recall that several rumors indicated that this instruction should have been published in January 2008(!) - so take all rumors with a grain of salt. The only certainties are that the document exists, and that it awaits the final signature of the Holy Father.

[Tip: La Buhardilla]

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am still very nervous about seeing this.

If they really wanted to fix the problem, they'd publicly tell the bishops they are no longer in control.

Then, to really make the point and solve much of the problem, they would open a personal parish in each and every district, filling them with ICKSP, FSSP or other traditional priests. Take the issue right off the table for the most part.

Stéphane said...

No, I am afraid the first tip was not by La Buhardilla but rather by Pontifex Roma (http://www.pontifex.roma.it/index.php/home), as indicated by La Buhardilla itself. In this case, being accurate did not take much more than carefully reading the post on La Buhardilla.

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

And what's worse is, in places like here in Washington, D.C., where we already had a weekly indult Mass, we've gotten NOTHING but random Masses at different churches.

Over a year after the Motu Proprio, still no daily Mass anywhere in the archdiocese, traditional sacraments are almost nonexistent, etc.

H.E. Wuerl is blocking this with all his power.

Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and every other heretic gets Communion in the hand straight from a beaming bishop but we can't have a personal parish. It's just incredible.

New Catholic said...

Do I really have to explain what a "tip" is? Pontifex is mentioned in the first paragraph, but it was our obligation to mention the first link sent by a reader. Tips ("hat tips") are simply a matter of courtesy, and we always try to mention them here, as we would like others to do regarding us.

J. R. Benedict said...

"And what's worse is, in places like here in Washington, D.C., where we already had a weekly indult Mass, we've gotten NOTHING but random Masses at different churches."

Which is something more than what you had before and therefore not nothing.

Nate Blosser said...

New Catholic,
Thanks for the post. I frequent your site often as it has the most up to date information. Keep up the good work.

John said...

cheering if true - and not only for the provisions made for traditionalists; it looks as if the measures described are intended to show that the Pope's authority cannot be defied, as it has been over Summorum Pontificium.

crusader88 said...

I find it such a pity that a clarification needs to be issued at all. I still can't fathom why so many priests and bishops hate the Mass of the Ages.

Anonymous said...

It seems unlikely that this rumour, regarding the method for resolving requests for massed when the local bishop is unwilling, is true. Because if the Pope acted in that manner (sending in priests when the local bishop was opposed) there would result grave wounds in the communion of the churches. I am not saying that the Bishops ought not acquiese, but if they are unwilling to, then this method would only exacerbate the matters tremendously, and make retributions by other means the order of the day, toward any laity or religious or clergy who asked to do the TLM in a diocese wherein it was unwelcome.

Not to mention the fact that the Commission is not prepared to qualify clergy from all parts of the world and send in men who are apt to serve well in each area, without making the so-called Indult groups much more hated by local clergy than they presently are.

In all, it seems more a dream of a layman than something proposed by the Holy Father, whose prudence is clearly more hands off...

Joe B said...

There aren't nearly enough traditionalist priests to send to all the objectionable parishes. Nonetheless, that is how to start a universal reformation - send in good priests and make them independent of the bishops. The Benedictines have good experience with that method.

J.R. Benedict - nothing BUT isn't nothing. Your response drips with the arrogance of a defiant bishopric.

Brian Kopp said...

"In all, it seems more a dream of a layman than something proposed by the Holy Father..."

That's exactly the kind of comment we heard in response to the rumors during the year leading up to the actual publication of Summorum Pontificum.

And those comments were proven false by the unanticipated force and breadth of Summorum Pontificum, which removed from bishops the decision as to whether to offer the TLM, and placed it in the hands of the pastor. It was the single largest assault on the false sense of collegiality of the post-VII era that we have witnessed.

So why would the Pope step back from this task -- of regaining to the Papacy the power and authority proper to the office, authority which had been dissipated by a false sense of collegiality over the past 50 years -- in the clarification of Summorum Pontificum? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Long-Skirts said...

anon. said:

"Because if the Pope acted in that manner (sending in priests when the local bishop was opposed) there would result grave wounds in the communion of the churches."

There were martyrs who suffered great wounds for "that" Mass.

RED

Vestments of red,
Altar cloth too,
Martyrs who bled,
Did this for you.

Gold Tabernacles,
Veiled in red's hue,
Martyrs in shackles,
Hung for this view.

Red mums full bloomed,
In water and brass,
Martyrs consumed,
Burned for this Mass.

Red rays of sun,
Rose-streak the nave,
Their suf'ring done,
Now, red, we must crave!

Trad-question said...

I am curious what people on this forum believe Archbishop Lefebvre's response to the Motu Proprio and the corollary documents would have been?

Jay said...

"And what's worse is, in places like here in Washington, D.C., where we already had a weekly indult Mass, we've gotten NOTHING but random Masses at different churches.

Over a year after the Motu Proprio, still no daily Mass anywhere in the archdiocese, traditional sacraments are almost nonexistent, etc."

The situation is similar all over the world, sadly not much improvement. Mainstream Catholics have little idea about Traditional Rite and not much motivation to change it. Be realistic, although optimism is necessary always.

dcs said...

there would result grave wounds in the communion of the churches

Why?

Anonymous said...

I still can't fathom why so many priests and bishops hate the Mass of the Ages.

Oh it's easy! They're modernists!

Anonymous said...

to Brian Kopp who wrote :
"And those comments were proven false by the unanticipated force and breadth of Summorum Pontificum, which removed from bishops the decision as to whether to offer the TLM, and placed it in the hands of the pastor. It was the single largest assault on the false sense of collegiality of the post-VII era that we have witnessed."

The core of the Motu proprio was duly expected for a simple reason : it was one of the SSPX request of 2001. The question was not on the content as you seem to believe weirdly. Besides J. Ratzinger had repeatedly told it before 2005.
The point at stake was : a motu proprio or nothing ? I personally heard a French bishop in June 2007 who was convinced there won't be any document... What the genesis of S.P. is showing is the much-anticipated force of the Litnik lobby ! To be able to delay an evident decision during 2 years.

As for your conviction that bishops are truly removed from the question, you are alas extremely naive. Or you live in a diocese where the bishop is trad-friendly and do not read the news...
Have a look at the list of episcopal steady obstruction to the Motu proprio made public by Msgr Perl last month.
In theory, what you say about the letter of Summorum Pontificum in entirely correct. But this is for theory. In diocesan daily life, we are extremely far from the letter of the Motu proprio.
Another proof of the still powerful Litnik lobby is this incredible delay to issue the Instruction announced by the PCED itself imminent in ... January 2008.

But even with this Instruction - if it is in the end published ?-, the only way to make a real change is ... changing the bishops and appointing sound new ones. This was the key of the Tridentine Reform already and of any progress in the Church during her history.
Today, the Holy Father finally appointed a good bishop in France. Allelujah ! yet over 150 to go...
We can say that there are some encouraging little signs which are pointing at a quicker rythm in Rome. Good. The Corbinian bear has still a long way to be confronted to neo-modernist bishops.
As for the resisting collegiality, have a look on the (incredible) statement of the cardinal president of FrenChurch after the papal visit : it's close to pure gallicanism.
nb. who has appointed Abp Wuerl ? though many other choices have brought some relief in the USA. Many countries haven't been so fortunate, especially in Europe.

Alsaticus

Brian Kopp said...

"As for your conviction that bishops are truly removed from the question, you are alas extremely naive. Or you live in a diocese where the bishop is trad-friendly and do not read the news... "

LOL!

(Read the July 19, 2008 entry at the link under my screen name, titled "SOS to PCED.")

Anonymous said...

Alsaticus:

"The core of the Motu proprio was duly expected for a simple reason : it was one of the SSPX request of 2001."

LOL2!!!!!!!!!! Cardinal Ratzinger advocated the de-restriction of the Mass already in the early 1980s! His justification had little to do with the SSPX, as much as those who wish the motu proprio didn't exist would like to think.

Anonymous10

John L said...

who was the good French bishop?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 10 who is probably laughing too loud and could end with hickups :

I suggest you to read again the Motu proprio and the Letter to the bishops where the Pope is literally mentioning the urgent need to restore unity within the Church as his 1st motivation to edit this document. I am perfectly aware - like anybody here please ! - of J. Ratzinger's pleas to allow TLM. I'm neither an idiot or an analphabet : thanks to consider this. Can we talk seriously ?

Moreover it has been made public in 2007 that a first scheme to allow TLM was actively supported by cardinal Ratzinger as early as 1982 and it was directly linked with SSPX : after the meeting between pope John Paul II and Abp Lefbvre, the question of "freedom for the Mass" was in debate within the Curia. The restrictive and practically ignored 1984 Indult finally came out.
This historical episode was kept secret until recently but you could remember the widely public fact of cardinal Ratzinger's contribution in the negociation of 1988 for an agreement with SSPX.

Besides "a simple reason" never means a unique reason ! It means one reason among others. I've been choosing the more evidently known. Moreover the canonical requests of SSPX in 2001 have been exactly fulfilled, to the letter, by Summorum Pontificum. As Fr. Zuhlsdorf have repeatedly said, the Motu proprio is aiming FIRST at ... Latin priests : articles 2-3-4. Which was exactly what Bp Fellay was asking for : a right for any Latin priest to use the 1962 missal. Oddly, Bp Fellay never talked with precision of the faithful's right,a probable sign of "clericalism".

So as you see, with proper knowledge, every word I wrote in this sentence was appropriate.

Alsaticus

ps. For John I said :
the Bp is presently Msgr Marc Aillet, Vicar general of the diocese of Toulon.He is appointed Bp of Bayonne. Msgr Aillet is a member of "Communauté Saint-Martin" trad-oriented NO priests, supported by cardinal Siri at the time. He published last year a positive little book upon the Motu proprio. The diocese of Toulon, under Bp Rey, is probably the most benevolent French diocese re TLM.