Rorate Caeli

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE
MOTU PROPRIO DATAE

1. ECCLESIAE UNITATEM tueri, ut sollicite omnibus suppeditentur subsidia ad huic vocationi divinaeque gratiae consentaneis rationibus respondendum, peculiarem in modum Petri Apostoli Successoris est munus, qui perpetuum est et visibile principium fundamentumque unitatis tum Episcoporum tum fidelium1. Primum praecipuumque Ecclesiae officium omni tempore, id est homines ad Deum conveniendum perducere, iuvandum est per communem omnium christianorum fidei testificationem.

2. Erga hoc mandatum fidem servans, postquam Archiepiscopus Marcellus Lefebvre, die XXX mensis Iunii anno MCMLXXXVIII episcopalem ordinationem illicite quattuor presbyteris impertivit, Veneratus Decessor Noster Ioannes Paulus II, die II mensis Iulii anno MCMLXXXVIII Pontificiam Commissionem Ecclesia Dei instituit, "cuius erit Episcopis cooperari, Dicasteriis Curiae Romanae et circulis quorum interest, ut plenam expediat communionem ecclesialem sacerdotum, seminariorum alumnorum, communitatum aut singulorum religiosorum coniunctorum Fraternitati conditae ab Archiepiscopo Lefebvre, qui cupiant Petri Successori in Ecclesia Catholica cohaerere, suas servantes traditiones spiritales et liturgicas, iuxta Protocollum superiore die 5 mensis Maii obsignatum a Cardinali Ratzinger et ab Archiepiscopo Lefebvre"2.

3. Hoc quidem proposito idem officium fideliter sustinentes universali Ecclesiae communioni in visibili eius quoque manifestatione inserviendi, atque totis viribus contendentes ut ii omnes qui unitatem vere exoptant in ea permanere eamve reperire possint, amplificare voluimus et per Motum Proprium Summorum Pontificum aptare, ea quae in universum in Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei continentur, de ea scilicet facultate Missale Romanum anni MCMLXII per certius distinctiusque dispositas normas adhibendi3.

4. Eodem sane animo eodemque studio permoti, ut omnis scissura divisioque in Ecclesia superarentur et vulnus sanaretur quod in ecclesiali corpore magis magisque acerbum animadvertitur, excommunicationem quattuor Episcopis ab Archiepiscopo Lefebvre illicite consecratis remittere voluimus. Hac quidem deliberatione impedimentum amovere cupivimus quod detrimentum inferre posset aperiendae dialogo ianuae atque ita Episcopos «Fraternitatemque S. Pii X» invitare, ut ad plenam cum Ecclesia communionem iter denuo invenirent. Quemadmodum in Litteris die X superioris mensis Martii Episcopis catholicis destinatis planum fecimus, excommunicationis remissio deliberatio fuit ad ecclesiasticam disciplinam pertinens, qua conscientiae pondere levarentur, quod gravissima ecclesiastica censura secum fert. Sed doctrinae quaestiones, ut liquet, manent atque, usque dum non enodentur, Fraternitas canonicum in Ecclesia statutum non habet et eius ministri nullum ministerium legitime agere possunt.

5. Quandoquidem quaestiones, quae in praesenti cum Fraternitate tractari debent, essentialiter ad doctrinam spectant, decrevimus – XXI a Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Dei transactis annis atque iuxta id quod agere constituimus4 - ut Commissionis Ecclesiae Dei structura denuo componatur, dum cum Congregatione pro Doctrina Fidei arte nectitur.

6. Itaque Pontificia Commisio Ecclesia Dei ita constituitur:

a) Commissionis Praeses Praefectus est Congregationis pro Doctrina Fidei.

b) Commissio proprium habet ordinem, Secretarium et Officiales complectentem.

c) Praesidis est, Secretario iuvante, praecipuos eventus quaestionesque docrinalis indolis studio discretionique committere postulationum ordinariarum Congregationis pro Doctrina Fidei, itemque superiori Summi Pontificis iudicio conclusiones concredere.

7. Deliberatione hac paternam sollicitudinem «Fraternitati S. Pii X» peculiarem in modum ostendere voluimus ut denuo ad plenam cum Ecclesia communionem perveniat.

Omnes alacriter invitamus ad Dominum incessanter orandum, per Beatae Mariae Virginis intercessionem, «ut unum sint».

Datum Romae, apud S. Petrum, die II mensis Iulii, anno MMIX, Pontificatus Nostri quinto.

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

________________________
1 Cfr Conc. Oecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. de Ecclesia, Lumen gentium, 23; Conc. Oecum. Vat. I, Const. dogm. de Ecclesia Christi Pastor aeternus, c. 3: DS 3060.
2 Ioannes Paulus II, Litt. ap. motu proprio datae Ecclesia Dei (2 Iulii 1988), n. 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.
3 Cfr Benedictus XVI, Litt. ap. motu proprio datae Summorum Pontificum (7 Iulii 2007): AAS 99 (2007), 777-781.
4 Cfr ibid. art. 11, 781.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

No room for fantasy anymore. "Fraternitas canonicum in Ecclesia statutum non habet et eius ministri nullum ministerium legitime agere possunt."

Romanus said...

No room for fantasy. "Fraternitas canonicum in Ecclesia statutum non habet et eius ministri nullum ministerium legitime agere possunt."

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a bloody disappointment but at least we know where we are. I expect that a juridical recognition of the Society will come at a future stage, probably long before all the doctrinal talks are complete, but it would likely entail some *appearance* of a concession on the part of the Society, such as an acceptance of Vatican II to the extent required once the authority of its documetns has been determined. I'm not holding my breath on that. Not any more, at least. I do note, however, that Fellay has said recently (a) that he welcomes a recognition and (b) that he is even open to a temporary canonical structure provided it includes adequate safeguards (Zenit interview of 15th June). I think that the prospect there remains good but, again, this will not likely happen for some time, and (b) seems to be discouraged by recent Society statements.

Really, this m.p. does not do anything we did not expect it to do: it merely integrates the P.C.E.D. into the C.D.F. in a particular way. I consider the replacement of C.H. by Levada to be unfortunate. Levada is no friend to tradition. He's 73 years old and will have served for over five years (normally a minimum term) one year from now. I expect that he'll be replaced in about two years then, possibly by Schönborn or Ouellet. Of the two, the latter would be considerably better, but the former seems to be more likely, and I note that H.H. recently spoke to S. for some time.

Notice how there is no separate provision for the purely liturgical functions of the P.C.E.D., whether as regards the traditionalist societies & institutes or as regards relations with the laity who petition for Masses? How disappointing.

After today or tomorrow, I will be taking a holiday from this bloody nonsense. I'll return occasionally when various events occur, such as an announcement re the TAC, or the Sons of the Holy Redeemer. It looks as if the liberal prelates have managed to block any further concessions to tradition for some time.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Romanus seems to have a twin blogger. Have your day in the sun, Romanus. But keep in mind that a lack of any recognition of the Society will be celebrated not only by liberals but by Society hardliners as well. They don't want to move towards unity with Rome because they regard Rome as being completely beyond the pale. Frankly, I can sympathise with their position.

However, despite temptations to 'get fed up' and defect to the S.S.P.X, I intend to pray on this matter and rely on God and our Lady. No room for fantasy? No, just for holy hope.

P.K.T.P.

Sacerdos quidem said...

All that has really changed is that the President of the Commission is now Levada. Let's try to view this positively. Levada meets the Pope every week, so perhaps this will allow the Pope to keep a closer eye on things, and to speed them up? Speriamo!

H.B. Palmaer said...

With great satisfaction, it would seem, Romanus says:

"No room for fantasy. 'Fraternitas canonicum in Ecclesia statutum non habet et eius ministri nullum ministerium legitime agere possunt.'"

Every time this sort of discourse is being served, I think of the Orthodoxs. How they carefully monitor 1) the treatment that the Traditionalists are given, and 2) the kind of obedience Rome expects of those submitting to it.

Blind, unconditional obedience to every whim of the Hierarchy, or obedience to a Hierarchy bound by Tradition.

Dan Hunter said...

My wife and I rejoice in the fact that we now will be able to go to confession to the FSSPX priest this Sunday.
Goodbye mortal sins!

Thank you dear Lord and thank you Holy Father!

Romanus said...

Mr. Hunter... "The Fraternity does not have a canonical statute in the Church and its ministers cannot perform legitimately any ministry". I would understand Mr Perkins interpreting that in the opposite meaning, as a concession of jurisdiction (maybe, if, probably, I sense), but not you.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"I'll return occasionally when various events occur, such as an announcement re the TAC..."

Good luck on that.

Anonymous said...

Romanus:

What on earth do you mean by your last comment? Obviously, I don't interpret the new m.p. to concede any canonical status.

No, it's clear: there is no canonical status being recognised. Why would you think that I'd interpret it in the opposite way?

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Palad's remark about the TAC:

Yes, I must say, the delay on the TAC is quite amazing. What's it been now? 21 months and no response to the TAC's request to join the Church corporately and sacramentally. We musn't do anything to offend the Arch-Druid of Canterbury or the Schorri Hag.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

Romanus, I humbly request, as your brother in Christ Jesus, with His cruel passion and death for our sins in view, that you apologise to Mr. Perkins. Your comment is uncharitable and insulting.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

H.B. Palmaer,
Every time this sort of discourse is being served, I think of the Orthodoxs. How they carefully monitor 1) the treatment that the Traditionalists are given, and 2) the kind of obedience Rome expects of those submitting to it.

If I am reading your post correctly (and I may not be) you are overstating the sympathy in Orthodoxy for the SSPX. Those Orthodox who know of them are more likely to view them as Rome's Old Calendarists. They reject Vatican II (about which most Orthodox are ambivalent) while expounding the ultramontanist dogmas of Vatican I (about which we Orthodox are definitely not ambivalent). The hyper-legalism of the arguments they employ in an attempt to justify their schism is also eerily similar to our Old Calendarists.

It is certainly true that we Orthodox who follow these things, are somewhat sympathetic to those Romans attempting to reclaim their traditional liturgical praxis. But it would be a mistake to view that as sympathy for specific groups, who are frequently hostile to Orthodoxy in any case.

In idle moments when my mind wanders to amusing thoughts; I have sometimes envisioned your SSPX and our Old Calendarists doing lunch together. Alas my mind always pictures a very cold and quiet meal. They are too much alike to get along.

In ICXC
John

Anonymous said...

I would point out that even St. Alphonsus says it can be licit morally to receive the sacraments from illicitly ministerying priests. This I believe was the basis for the PCED to say that the faithful could fulfill sunday obligation at SSPX chapels. St. Alphonsus explictly states that communion, confession, confirmation and priestly ordination are those which can be received when there is no other recourse to a Catholic service properly enacted.

As for B16's Motu Proprio, I notice that it makes no mention of JP2's declaration of excommunication.

Thus it seems that the Holy Father intends no longer to mention it...

Jordanes said...

I would point out that even St. Alphonsus says it can be licit morally to receive the sacraments from illicitly ministerying priests. This I believe was the basis for the PCED to say that the faithful could fulfill sunday obligation at SSPX chapels. ***

No, that's not the basis at all. Fulfilling the Sunday obligation is not the reception of a sacrament, as there is only an obligation to assist at Mass on Sunday, but no obligation to receive Holy Communion at that Mass. Indeed, if one is not properly disposed, there is an obligation to refrain from receiving the Blessed Sacrament.

The basis on the PCED declaration that illict SSPX Masses fulfill the Sunday obligation is a canon that says the Sunday obligation is fulfilled by assisting at Mass in a Catholic rite. In the new code, there is no prohibition on assisting at illicit Masses (I believe, but am not sure, there was such a prohibition under the old code). It follows, then, that even an illicit Sunday Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation, even though it's not at all the preferred way to do so, and the Church does not recommend it.

Jordanes said...

As for B16's Motu Proprio, I notice that it makes no mention of JP2's declaration of excommunication. ***

He does mention the remission of the excommunications, but there was no need to bring up again the event of the excommunications being declared, which is implicit in the mention of the remission.

Anonymous said...

On the first of Jorsanes's two comments:

Jordanes is correct but I would like to add that one is also not forbidden from receiving Holy Communion at a Soceity Mass, as Msgr. Perl's letters make clear: one may receive Holy Communion there and even put money on the plate.

To clarify this matter, we need to distingish first of all the difference between a right of a priest to do something he can do and a right of the faithful to receive what he is able to give.

Since, in the eyes of Rome, the Society clerics exercise no legitimate ministry and since the administration of all their Sacraments is illicit (except in danger of death), Society priests violate the law when they celebate Mass publicly (but not privately: private Masses are not a 'ministrry') and when they administer any Sacrament to any faithful (e.g. when they distribute Holy Communion to anyone), except in danger of death.

However, faithful are not forbidden from receiving Society Sacraments, even those which are illicit; and faithful can even fulfil the Sunday obligation by attending Society Masses.

There is an exception for two (somethimes four) cases, as follows:

1. Confession when there is no danger of death: faithful are not forbidden from going to Society confessions but there's no point, since Society confessions are not only illicit but also invalid: you can't receive an absolution which is not given. This Sacrament requires jurisdiction for validity.

2. By way of excpetion, in danger of death, Society priests can validly and even licitly give absolution and the faithful can lawfully receive it: ecclesia supplet. The Church teaches that faithful, in such cases, can even ask to receive absolution from a Society priest (or even a defrocked or laicised priest) if a priest in good standing is also present.

In danger of death, Society priests can also licitly give Viaticum and Extreme Unction: ecclesia supplet; and they can do so even when a priest in good standing is available for this.

3. Similarly, Society marriages are invalid.

4. Society confirmations are invalid when administered by a simple priest because Society bishops have no power of jurisdiction to delegate them; but they are valid when administered by Society bishops.


In closing, I note that P.C.E.D. letters affirming that one can fulfil the Sunday obligation at a Society Mass do cover everyone but the letters cannot be used as authoritative documents for affirming this, for they lack the proper authority. They cover faithful in the internal forum, which is the one at stake here (since it is a matter of sin). But the letters have no sure legal status. They do not represent a public statement at law on behalf of Holy Church. Hence they should not be used to convince others to go to Society Masses, even if this is not forbidden either.

As a result of this point, a bishop (or anyone) retains the right to deny the P.C.E.D.'s claims. A bishop could say that this is not part of the law and he disagrees. But it would not affect the faithful because, if one acts in good faith on probable grounds, one cannot fulfil the subjective condition needed to sin. Remember, fulfilling the Sunday obligation is a precept of the Church regarding sin.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

So, to follow up on my last point, we really need a public statement at law that the Society Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation, even though we can now attend them without sin and fulfil the obligation by so doing.

P.K.T.P.