Rorate Caeli

On the recent clarifications from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

As reported recently by the New Liturgical Movement, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, in a letter dated January 20, 2010 (Prot. 13/2007), has issued the following clarifications:

1. If there is no other possibility, because for instance in all churches of a diocese the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum are already being celebrated in the Ordinary Form, the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum may, in the same church in which they are already celebrated in the Ordinary Form, be additionally celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, if the local ordinary allows.

2. A Mass in the usus antiquior may replace a regularly scheduled Mass in the Ordinary Form. The question contextualizes that in many churches Sunday Masses are more or less scheduled continually, leaving free only very incovenient mid afternoon slots, but this is merely context, the question posed being general. The answer leaves the matter to the prudent judgement of the parish priest, and emphasises the right of a stable group to assist at Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

3. A parish priest may schedule a public Mass in the Extraordinary Form on his own accord (i.e. without the request of a group of faithful) for the benefit of the faithful including those unfamiliar with the usus antiquior. The response of the Commission here is identical to no. 2.

4. The calendar, readings or prefaces of the 1970 Missale Romanum may not be substituted for those of the 1962 Missale Romanum in Masses in the Extraordinary Form.

5. While the liturgical readings (Epistle and Gospel) themselves have to be read by
the priest (or deacon/subdeacon) as foreseen by the rubrics, a translation to the vernacular may afterwards be read also by a layman.

While other commentators have focused on the importance of nos. 2 and 3 in this clarification, there seems to have been very little discussion of the importance of no. 4. Truth to tell, this particular ruling probably has greater importance than the others for it severely limits the importation of elements from the Missal of Paul VI into the Missal of Bl. John XXIII.

To be precise, the fourth clarification has the following effects:

1) It reverses several earlier rulings of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, in particular:

a) The decision of Augustin Cardinal Mayer OSB, the first President of the PCED, to permit the use of the Pauline Lectionary in the vernacular, in place of the readings in the 1962 Missal. This permission can be found in PCED’s Prot. 500/90, better known as the Letter of Cardinal Mayer to the Bishops of the United States. Although this provision was never popular, it was indeed practiced in a few locations, at the behest of the local bishops. (Cardinal Mayer's letter mentions this permission only in passing, and the letter, as a whole, was one of the most important documents for the "re-legitimization" of the Traditional Roman Rite in the period 1984-2007.)

b) The decision of Angelo Cardinal Felici, contained in Prot. 40/97 (March 26, 1997) to permit the use of the Prefaces of the Missal of 1970 for the “appropriate” Masses celebrated according to the 1962 Missal. (I don’t know if anyone ever availed of this permission. However, one popular guide to the Ordo Missae according to the 1962 Missal has a selection of prefaces from the 1970 Missal, so I would guess that some priests and communities made use of this decision.)

It would also be interesting to know if the newest clarification from the PCED constitutes a reversal of the same commission’s Prot. 107/97, dated October 20, 2008, (see this and this) which had granted permission for the Masses of the Holydays of Obligation that are celebrated according to the 1962 Missal to be offered on the Sundays to which these same Holydays had been transferred in the local calendars used for the Missal of Paul VI. Like the two innovations mentioned above, this permission -- which grants External Solemnities to feasts that, under historic “Tridentine” practice (including the 1962 Missal itself), never actually had them (the Epiphany and the Ascension come to mind) -- has been adopted only by a few communities, all the while causing much controversy and stoking fears of the further hybridization of the 1962 Missal.

(Someone has expressed to me the opinion that the newest letter from the PCED, which is signed by a monsignor, could not possibly overturn permissions that had been signed by Cardinals. Perhaps some of our readers could charitably respond to this argument.)

2) It more clearly delineates – for now – the limits of the “mutual enrichment” between the 1962 and 1970 Missals, and seems to indicate that there will not be any further “modernizations” of the Missal of 1962 in the near future.

I would also like to add that, as far as Low Masses are concerned, clarification no. 5 – permitting a layman to read the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular after these had been read according to the rubrics by a priest (or deacon/subdeacon) – is not new, but merely reiterates what De Musica Sacra (September 3, 1958) had already permitted (see De Musica Sacra, no. 14.c). However the same cannot be said for Sung or Solemn Masses.

The new clarification also stipulates that the layman is to read the translation of the Epistle and Gospel after these had been read by the priest, unlike the practice that had obtained prior to Vatican II in some places where the lay reader read the Epistle and Gospel simultaneously with the priest saying these in a subdued voice.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of appearing to reverse earlier positions, doesn't the first clarification here seem to undo the Motu Proprio itself on the subject of the "integrity" of the Triduum? Maybe I am reading into this too much, or wrongly, but as far as I can see, the rationale for forbidding "private" Masses in the old rite during the Triduum (SP, Art. 2) would be that the liturgies of the Triduum are unique and unrepeatable. Of course, here we would have another case of theology at odds with practice: my diocese cannot be alone in having offered multiple Good Friday liturgies last year (English, Spanish, Vietnamese are all OK; just don't ask for Latin, and forget about the 1962 Missal!)...

Anonymous said...

It is not the first time that the PCED has issued contradictory statements. The case of the second Confiteor is well-known. Fortunately, these private answers bind only those who have asked, if anybody at all.

Anonymous said...

I have been arguing in favour of the P.C.E.D.'s conclusion for #3 ever since the m.p. was published. Few would listen. So I feel completely vindicated on this. It's simple. Article 5.1 says that, when groups ask for the T.L.M., parish priests should respond favourably. But this is not restrictive: it does NOT mean that, UNLESS such a group lodges such a request, the priest can't go ahead on his own initiative.

5.1 is silent on whether or not a parish priest can proceed even if not one faithful asks for such a Mass. To discover the answer, we must go to Article 1 of S.P. plus Canon 837.1 (and to a few other places). Essentially, the general permission granted to all priests in Art. 1, plus the parish priests right to control the liturgies in his church, means that he can go ahead on his own iniative, even if not one single faithful asks for this.

As it turns out, parish priests, rectors of non-parochial churches, and retired priests can go it on their own, the first two of these even publicly. In the case of retired priests, they can do it 'sine populo' but with invited guests and, if unable to do so in a sacred place, they can repair to a fitting place and the invited guests fulfil their Sunday obligatios at such Masses.

Although few realise this yet (the few including two elderly priests in the Netherlands), retired priests are the nuclear bombs of the Pope against the liberal bishops in S.P. They literally cannot be stopped. As priests, they have a right to say one Mass per diem as long as they are in good standing (and this can't be removed without just cause). But they cannot be forced to offer any Mass, owing to terms of retirement. As a result, they can simply choose to make their daily Mass the T.L.M.

Rome is now saying it in #3 of this letter to the Polish priest.

On #4, there is also great reason to rejoice. Mgr. Maupu of Verdun, are you listening? You may NOT intrude the lections from NewMass into TrueMass. It's illicit. Period. Got it? The Archbishop of Warsaw finally got it. The Bishop of Oakland, U.S.A. finally got replaced and his successor got it. Time you got it too. Are you stupid?

Note the good news on the calendar as well. Are you listening, Bishops of England and Wales?

I can also prove that the reference in 5.1 of S.P. to "one Sunday Mass" means AT LEAST ONE; it does not, not, not, mean 'only one'. Essentially, Rome is saying that, assuming there is a demand for all the available Mass times on Sunday, one of those Masses should be a T.L.M. even if few ask for this. However, if there are *available* times for a second T.L.M. and the priest is agreeable, a second one CAN be said. I'm too tired tonight to go through the proof again. Happy at the announcements on the other two bits.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Palad:

No, #4 is not as important as is #3 because only a few bishops try to intrude the new Lectionary or calendar.

No. 3 is crucial because it means that any parish priest can just start offering the T.L.M. completely on his own. The Bishop cannot say: Ah, you have not cœtus, not group!


To Poster #1:

No, we knew all along that a Bishop can allow a second Good Friday Office, for instance. The rule in practice is that this has only been done in the past when the available seating is insufficient for those wanting to attend the Office or Mass.

But the Bishop must be agreeable. As delegate for our T.L.M. in Victoria, I won't ask for a Good Friday Service? Why? Because I don't want the 2008 revision. But I'll leave that. The Byzantine Rite has a lovely Good Friday Office.

P.K.T.P.

Gideon Ertner said...

"The new clarification also stipulates that the layman is to read the translation of the Epistle and Gospel after these had been read by the priest..."

I don't see the need for a lay reader to read the readings at sung Masses. There is already a provision that the readings can be read by the priest in the vernacular, as I believe also happened some places before Vat II. Even if they are sung, the priest can read them from the pulpit before the sermon. It will just seem odd that a layman gets up to do that. It presents another opportunity to further 'laicize' the Church.

An instituted Lector can read, and even sing, the Epistle. To counter laicization, I think this class of persons should be expanded (and restored to their ancient clerical status with certain religious obligations, but sans an obligation to celibacy; we might even restore the permanent subdiaconate).

Anonymous said...

Ministers of the Word at the 1962 Rite??? That's where mutual enrichment will go. Texts intact but awash with the modernist innovations. Why is nobody objecting to this?

Adrienne said...

Agreeing with Annonymous: - just as John XXIII "opened the window" to V2, here, innovations like allowing a "mimister of thw word", (which is supposed to mean, the priest) will also be allowing more and worse kinds to invade the integrity and immutability of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Never without that "long arm" of the "spirit" of V2. more Rosaries & fasting.

Antonio said...

These clarifications are not objectionable in themselves and are a welcome break from the rubbish that the PCED propagated in the early 1990s.

I would be interested to know how many of Sternbeck's 1962 mass booklets with the new prefaces, were sold. I can't see many traditionalist communities using them at all in all honesty.

bseas said...

All the privileges and concessions granted under the previous indults were swept away at midnight on 13th September 2007 and the Missal of 1962 was restored fully to the Church untouched and without modification or adaptation. Therefore, all Masses being celebrated post Summorum Pontificum must be celebrated as they would have been in 1962 – strictly to the calendar and the rubrics of the time.

Anonymous said...

I would not object to an 'enrichment' of the usus antiquior Mass with more prefaces, as long as it is in accordance with Summorum Pontificum, and the pope's accompanying letter on this Motu Proprio - and perhaps on an optional basis to begin with. I do not see how the addition of prefaces, especially from older liturgical sources, or the addition of new saints and collects, could be seen to be destructive of the venerable ancient liturgy.

Fr. A.

Curiosus Omnium Rerum Spectator said...

There is no contradiction at all. The PCED documents mentioned in the article are previous to the issue of the Motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum". Consequently they should be considered as provisional measures under a regime of Indult. But this regime ended on the 14th September 2007, when Pope Benedict's Apostolic Letter came into force and reaffirmed that the TLM never was abrogated.

The question of the TLM is currently regulated by "Summorum Pontificum" (that is a Papal document) and the subsequent decisions made according to that Apostolic Letter by the PCED.

Now, Pope Benedict in his Motu proprio states that the Missale Romanum edited by the Blessed John XXIII in 1962 is the expression of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite of the Mass. He has not spoken of the 1965 Ordo or the 1967 Ordo or any other modification even issued by the PCED.

The only changes pointed out by the Holy Father are the inclusion of new prefaces and new saints, and this will be made "by the PCED in contact with the different bodies" attached to the Ancient Liturgy. This thing has not happened yet, then the Mass is by now fixed in the rite as described by the Missale Romanum of the Blessed John XXIII and the parallel privileges granted until 1962, before the beginning of the first reformes.

Mgr. Pozzo's letter is very respectful for the Extraordinary form and in the spirit of the Motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum".

Henry said...

"the rationale for forbidding 'private' Masses in the old rite during the Triduum (SP, Art. 2) would be that the liturgies of the Triduum are unique and unrepeatable."

It's perplexing at this late date to read this mistatement of SP, Article 2, which has its origin in the desire of the usual types to prohibit the EF altogether during the Sacred Triduum.

To the contrary, SP Art. 2 does not distinguish between the old and new rites, prohibiting (for whatever reason) private Masses in either form during the Triduum.

Anonymous said...

Vincent (Ireland) posted about an interesting additions to the discussion elsewhere: http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com/2010/02/from-pontifical-commission-ecclesia-dei.html

I must agree with the first post that multiple Easter Ceremonies is nothing new - just a good excuse to refuse the trads. On the other hand, the discussion on the EF statistics begs the question of whether there is a demand that is more loud than popular for the EF in parishes.

I'm not so sure that all the earlier concessions can be said to have been swept away by Summorum Pontificum. After all, can we really argue, as the Pope has, that the EF was never abrogated when a new universal form was introduced, while insisting that all earlier provisions were swept away by Summorum Pontificum?

I wasn't happy when I attended Mass with the SSPX in Lourdes some years ago and heard the lessons in French only. I have been infuriated to see some celebrants chanting the readings in English only. Wherever I have attended the EF there has been a translation read just before the sermon (or where the sermon would be). If this is the introduction of the lay readers into the EF it is a tragedy that should be stopped before it spreads.

Anonymous said...

"All the privileges and concessions granted under the previous indults were swept away at midnight on 13th September 2007".

This is not true, Summorum Pontificum does not say that. Anyway, there were no privileges or concessions allowing to use prefations from 1970, just ANSWERS to GENERAL QUESTIONS. Probably Msgr Pozzo is aware of this contradiction, that's why he had not given any explanation.

Curiosus Omnium Rerum Spectator said...

The question is as simple as this: in "Summorum Pontificum" the Pope says that the Missale Romanum edited by Pope John XXIII in 1962 is the expression of the Extraordinary form of Mass in the Roman Rite. Therefore, at this very moment a priest saying the Mass in the Extraordinary Roman rite must follow that Missal with the only change made by the Pope himself on the Good Friday's Prayer for the Jews.

If the 1970 Lectionary or new prefaces were permitted, why Benedict XVI says that the Extraordinary form can be enriched by new prefaces and saints? He is speaking in future tense not of a current fact. Consequently, neither the new Lectionary nor the new prefaces are today allowed in the TLM and it means that the concessions made under the indults are obsolete. The situation before the 14th September 2007 was irregular: the old Mass appeared as having been abrogated and his celebration was considered as a tollerated privilege.

All the concessions made in that supposition were maybe well-intended, but in fact they introduced the tendency of change and compromise with the modern mentality that presided the Liturgical pre-reform of 1964-1967. The same that leaded to the mutilation and final destruction of the venerable and ancient rite and its abusive proscription by the Novus Ordo.

But now the situation is totally different: the Pope has removed the injustice of that proscription and has reivindicated the full legallity of the Vetus Ordo, that was never abrogated. And this judgement is an authentic interpretation of the Liturgical law by the Supreme Legislator of the Church.

George said...

What about the lectionary of 1967, which simply added optional ferial readings to the traditional cycle on days which didnt have their own readings, without touching the traditional Sunday pericopes, etc?? I didn't know it existed till I found out, here:

http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-did-no-one-tell-me.html

Anonymous said...

CAN we be absolutely certain that the answers given to dubia by the Ecclesia Dei Commission prior to SP - including faculties to do certain things - are now abrogated or obrogated ? For example, take those traditionalist monasteries in France, where everyone still chants the Pater noster at the conventual Mass. I think that the least that could be said is that a prudent doubt exists, which ought to be addressed directly to the Pontifical commission 'Ecclesia Dei'.

Anonymous said...

Curiosus Omnium Rerum Spectator, you're wrong again. All the previous indults pertained only and exactly the 1962 Missal, and this situation was perfectly regular, because it was regulated in 1988. There's much more to law and liturgy than the Missal, but anyway all the answers given by the Pontifical Commission are not a promulgation of any law, they're just unauthoritative interpretation given in private.

"If the 1970 Lectionary or new prefaces were permitted, why Benedict XVI says that the Extraordinary form can be enriched by new prefaces and saints?"

He says that to show the people who in a sectarian spirit want to freeze the Church in 1962 that they're wrong. Unfortunately, this sectarian spirit is also visible in this answer of the Pontifical Commission, particularly in the answer No. 1. Double celebration of Triduum Sacrum in the same parish is a horrific liturgical abuse.

Answer No. 1. contradicts both Missal of 1962 and Summorum Pontificum, but in one aspect it is in conformity with the ecclesiological position of the bishop, who is the diocesan liturgian. But Summorum Pontificum was undermining the position of the bishops already. One step forward, two steps back.

There are many more contradictions and abuses. The PCED allows the deacons to distribute Holy Communion, a practice which is contradictory to the liturgy of 1962. The PCED allows priests to vest as deacons and subdeacons, which is contradictory to the Sacrosanctum Concilium and liturgical law of the Church. What are you going to do with your cognitive dissonance? Are you going to keep wallowing in your presumptuous conviction that there's no contradiction?

I understand the desperate need of some traditionalists to show their "obedience" and "fidelity" to what they imagine is the Holy Father's will, but I have to point out that this is just pride up to the level of blindness. You're deepening the divisions in the Church by such attitude. Put more trust in the Church, and stop denying facts. With supporters who always know better the Church needs no enemies. Because of your pride the bishops don't like you.

If the Church worked the way you think she works, all the priests who were given the private answer that they can use 1970 prefaces, contrary to the lefebrists insisting on 1962 calendar, would have been fooled now. The clergy is only more and more disgusted by your better-wisement. Answers from the Roman congregations should not be made public, as they do more harm than good. Ignorant laymen, know your place in the Church.

Rad Trad said...

"Therefore, at this very moment a priest saying the Mass in the Extraordinary Roman rite must follow that Missal with the only change made by the Pope himself on the Good Friday's Prayer for the Jews."

You seem to take an overly simplistic and monolithic view of Church Law. Two principles apply: 'Generalia specialibus non derogant' and 'In dubio revocatio legis praeexistentis non praesumitur'.

"If the 1970 Lectionary or new prefaces were permitted, why Benedict XVI says that the Extraordinary form can be enriched by new prefaces and saints? He is speaking in future tense not of a current fact."

Again, this is overly simplistic. Just because the Holy Father specifically refers to a future possibility it does not mean that he has suppressed all similar previous provisions.

"Consequently, neither the new Lectionary nor the new prefaces are today allowed in the TLM and it means that the concessions made under the indults are obsolete."

This is a breathtaking statement without any authority. Who are you to interpret the legislation of the Holy Father?

"The situation before the 14th September 2007 was irregular: the old Mass appeared as having been abrogated and his celebration was considered as a tollerated [sic] privilege."

Irregular? Do you really know the meaning of this term? We now know that this appearance of abrogation, or more correctly obrogation, was incorrect on the basis of the very same principal that the new does not abolish the old unless it clearly and explicitly does so. That is why the EF was neither abrogated nor obrogated. It is also why all previous concession by the Holy See, such as those to the French Benedictines, remain in force until clearly and eplicitly abolished.

"All the concessions made in that supposition were maybe well-intended, but in fact they introduced the tendency of change and compromise with the modern mentality that presided the Liturgical pre-reform of 1964-1967. The same that leaded to the mutilation and final destruction of the venerable and ancient rite and its abusive proscription by the Novus Ordo."

This is subjective speculation and has no bearing upon the legal situation.

"But now the situation is totally different: the Pope has removed the injustice of that proscription and has reivindicated the full legallity of the Vetus Ordo, that was never abrogated. And this judgement is an authentic interpretation of the Liturgical law by the Supreme Legislator of the Church."

You cannot 'have your cake and eat it'. Either the 1962 Liturgical Books were never abrogated, in which case, they continued to run since 1962 and picked up any legitimate accretions approved by the Holy See, or else the Holy See re-promulgated the 1962 Missal de novo, in effect, a 2007 Missal, as it were. You cannot have both.

Curiosus Omnium Rerum Spectator said...

Nobody wants to freeze the Missale Romanum 1962. Liturgy is an alive being susceptible of homogeneus evolution, but under the authority of the Church. I am ready to accept any legitimate change made in the Missale Romanum, id est in the line traced by Benedict XVI.

It is not me who speculates; Anonimous and Trad: you are who speculate since the latest responses of the PCED confims that all the concessions previous to 2007 are not anymore in force. For defending your point of view you call it "contradictory". No. The recent PCED document is in line with the motu proprio. You are in contradiction to it.

Now, explain me why we should accept the PCED previous concessions and not the 1965 Ordo (suppression of Judica me and the Prologue of Saint John) or the 1967 changes. At the end we will get another Novus Ordo and in that case I prefer to keep the one of Paul VI.

'Generalia specialibus non derogant': unless the Generalia defines a rite and this definition does not include the Specialia. Pope Benedict says that the "Missale Romanum" juxta editionem typicam 1962 is the expression of the Extraordinary form of Mass in the roman rite. He has not added: "with the subsequents changes or accretions".

'In dubio revocatio legis praeexistentis non praesumitur'. Yes, but there is no doubt after Summorum Pontificum and the responses of the PCED.

It is meaningful that the re-print of the Missale Romanum of the Extraordinary form by the Editrice Vaticana is the text of 1962 with the new solemn prayer for the Jews. It is not the Missale Romanum 1965 or the Missa Normativa 1967.

Obviously, if the Traditional Rite was never abrogated it was fully legal in principle. Before 2007, then it is clear that the situation was irregular, not in the sense that there was no regulation, buy in the sense that it was no regular that a Rite with full right to existence was the object of an indult (a privilege). If you do not undertand this, then you do not understand anything.

As a Catholic I can give my opinion about the words of the Holy Father, as you can. Who you are for denying me this right even if I am wrong?

Finally I demand respect: you can disagree my points but you do not have the right of talking of fanatism or ignorance. Clerics leaded us to the situation we suffered for more than 40 years. Do not come to talk of "ignorant laymen". And how do you know whether I am cleric or layman?

I will not give any further answer because it is vain to discuss with "anonimous" and people that uses disqualification as arguments. Quod scripsi, scripsi.

Anonymous said...

"CAN we be absolutely certain that the answers given to dubia by the Ecclesia Dei Commission prior to SP - including faculties to do certain things - are now abrogated or obrogated ?"

Of course not. They're private answers to private questions. They have no power of abrogating of obrogating any law. Law must be promulgated first to be law at all.

Anonymous said...

- Anon. at 20 FEB, 15.20 :
'. They're private answers to private questions. They have no power of abrogating of obrogating any law. Law must be promulgated first to be law at all'

I think you've missed the point, with all due respect and courtesy. The point is that - assuming that the 'private' (if they can be called that) questions, dubia, addressed to PCED are 'interpretations' of (liturgical) law - to what extent are they altered by Summorum Pontificum ? Although the legislation of the Motu Proprio 'Ecclesia Dei' etc. is altered by SP, to what EXTENT are the 'private' Qs and As altered : do some of them still apply to the usus antiquior, or none of them, in whole, in part, or what ? This needs clarification from the appropriate authorities.

May God bless you,

Fr. A.

Anonymous said...

I think we could be absolutely certain if the Pontifical Commission were to give a public and authoritative decision on the question as Fr. A. suggests. In the absence of that we can't be sure but I also think that in the absence of the decision people remain free to follow any probable and legitimate interpretation. Unless the Pope or a competent authority actually tells the ones using the previous special permissions to stop doing so it seems to me that they are still free to rely on them. They have the maximum possible liberty allowed by the law.