Rorate Caeli

For the record: "Motu Proprio" News in Radio Vaticana

News provided by Link and translation provided by Gillibrand at Catholic Church Conservation:

Father Eberhard von Gemmingen SJ:

Weekly Commentary

In all probability Pope Benedict will give the permission to celebrate again the traditional or Tridentine Rite. It would however be completely wrong if Catholics started to quarrel over this, some of them full of joy about this reversal, the others full of anger. It is to be noted that the Pope will not on any account reintroduce the old liturgy or even make it compulsory. He is only of the opinion that the prohibition of the classical Rite after the Council is in contradiction to Church tradition, because according to his conviction, Rites can be further developed but cannot be abrogated.

The whole thing is not about Latin and the celebration with the back to the people. The new Rite allows both. The exact differences between the old and the new Rite are minimal and are hardly recognizable if the new Rite, as permitted and desired, is celebrated in Latin and with the back to the people.

In my opinion, our actual problem in Europe is that the Faithful find today’s Masses often banal with little mystery and at times also with arbitrary additions to the Rite. Christians with a sense of aesthetics wish for a more classical form and mystery. Behind this is probably also a longing for European language which links all together in a common culture. At that stage, one knew that a Catholic Mass in Lisbon was the same as the one celebrated in St Petersburg. One was spared any surprises. But let’s admit it, at that time millions took part in the Mass diligently and faithfully but have not understood anything and only prayed the Rosary. The German hand Missal, Schott was only known to German intellectuals because in other countries it did not exist (untrue!). The desire to assist at the Mass, actively and with understanding is good and very important. It is my opinion therefore that in todays world we priests should learn again to celebrate the mystery so that Faith, heart and reason are in used to equal measure. If we look at the growing Churches in Africa and Asia, the celebration of the correct Rite is a mere trifle. I can hardly imagine that anyone in these young Churches will want the old Rite.


  1. Blah blah patronizing blah.

    Do they remove the faculty to admit mistakes when one puts on a Roman Collar.

  2. Anonymous12:18 PM

    What utter rubbish. Hardly surprising there is so little respect for the priesthood today.

  3. They are constantly and cheerfully able to admit the "mistakes" of their benighted ancestors.

  4. Anonymous12:49 PM

    I'm from Singapore; South-East Asia, and there so many young catholics here who are yearning for the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Many sunday catholics are starting to get complacent of Mass; saying that it's boring and dull. It's so ironic cos Rome has tried so hard for the last 40 years to make Mass 'more interesting'.

    FYI, liturgical abuses of the Mass of Paul VI are becoming more common in churches nowadays.


  5. I'm pretty happy to see this piece coming from the director of Radio Vaticana. If nothing else, it demonstrates that the motu proprio is alive and kicking. There would be no need for this commentary if it were again a dead letter.

  6. Ole Doc's right on the money. After weeks of no news, this is cheering.

    The commentary reads like typical Jesuit sour grapes, but it does indeed confirm our fondest hopes.

  7. The inevitability of the restoration of the traditional Roman rite is evident whenever the motu proprio is issued.This is seen by articles such as this saying that the freeing of the old rite is coming but so what,its not going to be imposedits just going to ne allowed.They admit the desire of something other than the NO amd the logic of allowing the TLM.They admit Benedict's beleif that a ritecan be developed (what VII wanted) but not abrogated (what VII did not want).So before cticizing the article consider the source.Would he have written that two or even one year ago.It can't be stopped so he is going to reluctantly going to accept it. Where by the way is it?Remember "subito".

  8. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Somebody at the Vatican better do a study of the number of young people attending TLMs. Here in Kuala Lumpur's SSPX chapel, almost 50% or more of the attendees are people below 30.

  9. Anonymous1:58 PM

    It is also untrue that there are only "minor" differences between the rites.

    No wonder this comes from a Jesuit.

    What they class as "minor" is proper, due, respectful, reverent prayer!

  10. Anonymous1:59 PM

    The insight is wonderful. I welcome the universal indult as do many Catholics who love the Liturgy. However, I also serve a parish where the Novus Ordo is celebrated faithfully, with muc Latin, with mystery, grandeur and beauty. The reactions here make me concerned. WHEN the indult is issued, here is the question: will those who prefer the "Traditional Roman Rite" become a new group of Pharisees or the genuinely pious faithful who can help the entire Church to grow in its genuine devotion?

  11. "Christians with a sense of aesthetics"


    For neurotic-psychotic
    “Attached” to the old,
    We give you a hireling
    To take care your fold.

    No need for the shepherds,
    Who seem so much keener,
    They’ll tempt you with dreams
    Of pastures much greener

    And say not to mimic
    Past, tolerant-barters,
    So heads were cut off,
    Who could dialogue with martyrs?

    The shepherds tell fables,
    ‘Bout a man, hated, hailed,
    Like you, just “attached”,
    Don’t believe He was nailed!

  12. Notice also he says the celebration of the New Rite ad orientem is 'permitted and desired'. Someone should have told the sanctuary-wreckers.

    The claim that the Old and New Masses are scarcely distinguishable always makes me laugh. When did he last go to the Old Mass?

  13. Anonymous4:02 PM

    A "Catholic mass in St. Petersburg" would have been the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom--i.e., Byzantine Rite. Yes, there were Catholics there of the Russian liturgical tradition from the time of Pius IX.

  14. Anonymous4:02 PM

    A "Catholic mass in St. Petersburg" would have been the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom--i.e., Byzantine Rite. Yes, there were Catholics there of the Russian liturgical tradition from the time of Pius IX.

  15. A Catholic mass in St. Petersburg might have been in the Byzantine rite: especially after 1905 there was a revival of the Russian rite. But much more likely it would have been in the Roman rite. There were several very prominient Catholic churches active in St. Petersburg since the 18th century. They were closed after the Bolshevik revolution.I believe one was St. Catherine's.

    I often get to Singapore: is there any contact information for the Traditional Catholics there?

  16. Anonymous4:49 PM

    if this nonsense represents the mind of the pope, the motu proprio will strangle, not furnish, hope.

    talk about diminishing beforehand the thing one claims to be restoring! A motu proprio is nothing without truth.

  17. Anonymous Said: ...will those who prefer the "Traditional Roman Rite" become a new group of Pharisees or the genuinely pious faithful who can help the entire Church to grow in its genuine devotion?

    Anonymous, come on! The only reason you could speak such nonsense is that you already see the Trads as a bunch of over-pious fish-eating Rasputins. They are already helping the Church grow in its "genuine devotion" or to put it more clearly, they are doing a lot more to save souls than the Bugnini Mass establishment is doing. But one of the lots of the trad is pointing out the error, horror and scandal that occurs daily in the 'mainstream' Church, in both liturgy and teaching. Some might call that Pharisaical. Charity present, I call it keeping the faith.

  18. Anonymous6:02 PM

    "if the new Rite, as permitted and desired, is celebrated in Latin and with the back to the people."

    If this says what I think it says, this is huge. This could be a warning shot before the announcment of the apostolic exhortation, which will call for this way of saying mass to become the norm.

  19. I thought exactly the same thing, Anon, "as permitted and desired..." That's completely new, they've never said that the NO was DESIRED to be said ad orientem before. There's a change coming. When? In the twinkling of an eye? Very interesting indeed.

  20. He says in his radio commentary,

    und AUCH gewuenscht. He is meaning when there is demand for the old Rite.

  21. This is a rather disappointing article on a number of points. It contains numerous inaccuracies and also makes rather absurd statements about the differences between the two rites. Sigh...

  22. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Dear Tim

    You are wrong. I respect those who cheish the Taraditional latin Rite. I share the thoght of Fr Fessio which can be discerned in his response in this interview for Ignatius Insight:

    The question for the week of August 1, 2004, was:

    "Can you tell me why the Latin Tridentine Mass is not celebrated at Ave Maria College. I attended the Novus Order Latin Mass at Ave Maria University at Naples Florida this past February and was extremely disappointed in the Novus Order Mass. It is a pale comparison to the beauty and meaning of the historical Tridentine Mass. I am surprised that Father Fessio does not seek permission for a weekly Tridentine Mass.

    Fr. Fessio: Thank you for your question regarding the celebration of the Indult Mass at Ave Maria University.

    Right now we have a student body of 300 - although we believe it is going to be growing rapidly. There are two Masses per day and I celebrate the Mass in Latin twice during weekdays and a sung High Mass on Sunday mornings. It is not the Indult Mass for which we need special permission from the Bishop; this is the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated in Latin, with Gregorian Chant, facing East, and using the Roman Canon. In fact, I have called this the "Mass of Vatican II" because I believe it corresponds very closely to what the Council anticipated in liturgical reform.

    The Lord has been blessing us immensely in the number of students who have already responded to the vision of Ave Maria University. Therefore we believe we will be expanding rapidly in years to come. Perhaps when we have more students and priests, at our new permanent campus - and provided of course that the Bishop will give permission--we may add the Indult Mass, the so called "Tridentine" Latin Mass.

    In the meantime, I would like the students to experience the new Mass with the Ordinary (unchanging parts) in Latin and celebrated with as few as possible changes from the previous pre-Conciliar Mass. It is very, very close to the Tridentine Mass, especially when the Roman Canon is used. I even think that had this Mass been available - as it was intended to be available Ð many of those who have sought the restoration of the Tridentine Mass would have not been so dissatisfied with the liturgical reform which the Council had intended."

    I reiterate my concern which led to your pointed response. I hope that those who have been praying for this indult, take their place as servants of the Church after it is granted and do not fall into error themselves.

  23. Anonymous7:34 PM

    I'd bet my Roman Missal, fr. fessio, that one of those "few as possible changes from the pre-conciliar mass" is that the liturgy is full throttle loud and wordy (latin wordy this time) with NO silence during the "Roman Canon". Methinks Father scrambles just a bit too hard in his response to be believable. you've heard 'lipstick on a pig?'.....

  24. Heb baby!

    You have NO idea how glad I am to see you back!

    Anon, "lipstick on a pig"... have you been reading what I think you've been reading?

    Didn't someone cite Father Fessio on this blog a few weeks ago? It might have been NC himself. If I recall what Father Fessio said then, he is certainly shifting...

    Now, if I see one more EMoHC I will scream.

    Get rid.

  25. Fr. Fessio said: "I even think that had this Mass been available - as it was intended to be available - many of those who have sought the restoration of the Tridentine Mass would have not been so dissatisfied with the liturgical reform which the Council had intended."

    Fr. Fessio was definitely not one of those who was "dissatisfied with the liturgical reform" as implemented, at least not until his mentor Cardinal Ratzinger prefaced Gamber's book. Indeed, Fr. Fessio was (and is?) a strong opponent of the TLM.

    As the legend goes, the great Fr. Vincent Miceli (of sainted memory), who knew Fr. Fessio when he was a long-haired, guitar playing Jesuit scholastic in the 60's (Berkley I believe), once quipped to Fessio after he became a supposed champion for orthodoxy:

    "Joe, you were a liberal then, you are a liberal now, and you always will be a liberal."

  26. Anonymous11:31 PM

    anyone else notice the quiet little sub-theme underlying many of the comments posted here: perhaps the hoped for motu proprio is really intended to shove the celebration of the NO into a more 'traditional' mode? If the pope wished to 'restore' the Roman Mass because he believed the NO is an inferior liturgy, he has the authority to do precisely that. Instead, under cover of 'inclusiveness' (albeit with perhaps a spine of devotional appreciation of the Roman Mass - something lacking in JPII), among other things, it remains that the novus ordo IS NOT the Roman Mass, nor can it substitute for the Roman Mass, let alone ever 'become' its twin. Plain and simple. Crumbs are not food. Trad catholics are clearly the most hope-filled people on the planet. Even a universal indult doesnt address the 'problem' of the mass. Read Bishop de Mallerais' biography of Lefebvre. Remember WHAT the Roman Mass is. Only with that understanding will the dressup game make exactingly clear not only the pig itself, but the lipsticks being used to atempt to disguise it.

  27. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Re Father Fessio - hoping not to be uncharitable but facts are facts; Ignatius Press has a huge investment in the Adoremus hymnal. I've often wondered if that were part of the reason Fr. has never supported the Traditional Mass.

  28. Anonymous5:04 AM

    To the anon above me: The Adoremus Hymnal in no way depends upon the Novus Ordo being dominant. The hymns in there are just as good for the TLM as they are for the NO. Sure, the gregorian chant settings would have to be expanded, but I hardly think that Ignatius has a monetary motivation against the TLM. It would be no trouble at all to put in the other Gregorian settings.

  29. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Dear Stuart,

    The traditional catholics in Singapore have not been granted regular Indult Mass. The best we get is a few High Masses celebrated by a FSSP priest when he passes through Singapore each year.

    If you're thinking of attending TLM, there's a SSPX Priory (if you don't mind) that conducts masses daily, with Sung Mass every Sunday. Hope this is helpful. Cheers!

  30. Anonymous8:19 AM

    There is an article in the British Sunady Telegraph today interviewing Fr Reggie Foster and he comments on the Mass:
    He said reports that Pope Benedict will reintroduce the Tridentine Mass, which dates from 1570 and is largely conducted in Latin, were wrong – not least because of the Pope's desire to avoid more controversies. A speech last year offended Muslims and more recently he gave initial support to a Polish archbishop who was eventually forced to resign, after admitting that he had collaborated with the communist-era secret police.

    "He is not going to do it," Fr Foster said. "He had trouble with Regensberg, and then trouble in Warsaw, and if he does this, all hell will break loose." In any case, he added: "It is a useless mass and the whole mentality is stupid. The idea of it is that things were better in the old days. It makes the Vatican look medieval.";jsessionid=STEYWRV3NY0YDQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/28/wlatin28.xml

  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. I have decided not to post any note on this, due to the inherent sacrilege in the Carmelite words published by The Sunday Telegraph; but I will not delete Paul's comment and link.

  33. Anonymous11:23 AM

    I certainly had no intention of publishing anything sacriligeous and I apologise if anyone is offended. I merely thought that the article was worth posting. After all, Fr Foster was dismissed by the Gregorian University, not the Vatican, where he is still the leading Latinist. He is the one who would translate the Motu Proprio.

  34. @Poeta:

    Fr. Reginald Foster has already been re-appointed to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome as per (secretive) decree of Benedict XVI.

    Thanks for your good media and blogging work. One side-note: While Rev. Fr. Foster (from Michigan) may claim to speak as a Carmelite, his words are not 'Carmelite words'. Could you ever imagine such irreverent and disrespectful words coming from St. Therèse de Lisieux or from the Carmelite martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, or from St. John of the Cross? On the Holy Liturgy of the Church? The center of their life (and I guess also - at least nominally - of Rev. Foster's monastic life before 1965) being "useless" and "stupid"?

    But, NewCatholic, if I were you I would still post it. After all, it's not like you cannot comment his irreverent and possibly 'sacrilegious' words on the Immemorial Roman Rite Mass, but still. I do not think the British journalist of the Telegraph would twist Rev. Foster's words.

    Given Foster's appearance in a regular sweat shirt or another shirt, never wearing the habit of his order or clerical tab collars, this rejection of the "Old" Mass cannot be surprising.

    I would still post the article from Britain published by many during this Sunday.

  35. I think one must petition Rome that Rev. Foster is not going to translate the possibly already wiped off the map "UNiversal Indult motu-proprio", as he might put some of his own ideological assessments of the Roman Catholic Mass of all times into the translations. And in Latin the essence is in the details!

  36. Fr. von Gemmingen SJ is at least more respectful than Fr. Reginald Foster. Germans tend to be more diplomatic since 1945, even on spiritual issues. Fr. von Gemmingen might also only have a false personal impression, but he does not attack those attached to the traditional Roman Rite in the fashion Cardinal Lehmann and Rev. Foster and Cardinal Ricard and Cardinal Lustiger and Bishop André 23 and others háve done.

  37. Paul: thank you very much for your comments and link.

    This man is one of several qualified Latinists at the service of the Holy See, though certainly not the "leading" Latinist.