Rorate Caeli

For the Record - URGENT - Italian Papal News website:
Motu proprio "signed and imminent"
Quotes from the Accompanying Letter

While we maintain our caveat regarding specific dates, it is simply impossible to ignore several important details of the present article, entirely translated from the famous and credible Italian website of Papal news Petrus: supposed excerpts of the actual Cover Letter to be sent to all bishops, details of the Press Conference which would host the public announcement of the document, as well as a clear declaration from an extremely credible source, Nicola Bux.

The Traditional Mass is presented in some detail to those who do not know it, though one clear weakness of the article is the fact that the very name of the document still seems to be ignored -- which seems peculiar considering the other details presented in the article.

Exclusive: "Motu Proprio" signed by the Pope, liberalization of Latin Mass imminent

by Bruno Volpe

The Papal "Motu Proprio" for the liberalization of the Latin Mass according to the Tridentine rite of Saint Pius V is ready, is about to be translated into several languages and will be published right before the departure of Benedict XVI for the summer vacation. [Rorate Cæli note: The Pope's early vacation this summer will be spent in a small villa owned by the Diocese of Treviso, in the tiny hamlet of Lorenzago di Cadore, Province of Belluno, in the Veneto region, in the July 9-27 period.]

The text has already been signed by the Pontiff, who has even written a long exaplanatory letter, of a theological character, "addressed to all the Bishops of the world", as it can be read in its introduction, "so that they may receive this document with serenity and patience".

The Pope thus asks the Bishops, the clergy, and the faithful for a serene mood in the acceptance of the "Motu Proprio", which will be presented in a Press Conference by Cardinals Francis Arinze, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, and Julian Herranz.

The delay in the publication of the document seems to be related to strong oppositions from some sectors of the clergy (especially from the French Episcopal Conference).

Monsignor Nicola Bux (a personal friend of the Pope), a theologian and collaborator of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declares: "You may write calmly [that] Pope Benedict XVI loves agreement and collaboration, and does not wish to decide everything on his own, which is why he has heard several and repeated opinions, but the Motu Proprio for the liberalization of the Latin Mass has been signed and its publication is imminent, I would say it is a matter of days."

The Tridentine Mass is completely celebrated in Latin, with the exception of a few words and sentences in Ancient Greek and in Hebrew; it is interspersed with long periods of silence, to allow the faithful to adequately meditate on the greatness of the Eucharistic mystery which they are called to attend. The faithful follow the liturgy reading the bilingual handmissal or leaflet, which carry, side by side with the Latin text, the integral translation of the actions in Italian or in the other national languages.

It is not only the use of the ecclesiastical and universal language ("Catholic" means precisely universal) which represents the sole standing difference between the Tridentine Mass and the modern one. The priest, differently than what takes place in the course of the new rite, turns his back to the faithful, as he celebrates turned to the tabernacle and the altar which constitutes the representation of Calvary; the image is that of the celebrant who guides the people.

The Gospel is always read at the right side of the altar, while the Epistle on the left side (from whence the terms "in cornu evangelii" and "in cornu epistulae"). Communion - only the Host [sic] for the faithful - is received while kneeling and in the mouth.

[The faithful] mostly kneel during Mass, because [they] believe in its great mystery, because [they] believe in the real presence of Jesus in body, blood, soul, and divinity, because kneeling is the posture of the humble sinner who begs for God's mercy.

The limitation of the Tridentine Mass by the Second Vatican Council [sic] has been the main cause of the schism between the followers of French bishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Church of Rome. A painful schism [i.e. "schismatic group"], which arose in the Pontificate of John Paul II, which, with the "Motu Proprio" of Benedict XVI, seems destined to return definitively.

In the picture: Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, Abp. Albert Ranjith and Rev. Prof. Nicola Bux pose before a press conference for the Italian Version of "Turning towards the Lord" by Uwe Michael Lang with a preface by Joseph Ratzinger (Rome, April 27, 2006).


  1. Serenity, SERENITY NOW!

  2. Note: We could have "Americanized" the text further, but we have decided to leave it at that, so that our readers can enjoy some of the Italian flavor of the report, except where a literal rendition could have caused harm in the comprehension of the entire text.

  3. Anonymous11:33 PM

    WOW, this is BIG...
    Isnt it interesting that every time we get "bad news" reported (eg today's, the NEXT DAY there is a major break through of info? Seriously, look back at every time there is a "important figure" that says either the MP doesnt exist or that it will come out next year...and BAM the next day a Cardinal comes out and confirms it or something. Coincidence?

  4. Anonymous11:47 PM

    "One cannot be truly an orthodox Catholic if he is not a Roman Catholic or a Roman Catholic if he is not orthodox."

    How aware most traditional Catholics are today of this truth with the miserable fruits of the "Novus Ordo Missae" (New Mass) and the precipitous decline in Sunday Mass attendance in the U.S. from 71% in 1963 to 25% in 1993; notwithstanding even worse figures in much of Europe. What most of all contributed to this calamitous decline in respect and reverence for the "Novus Ordo Missae" was the innovation of Communion in the hand, a veritable liturgical coup in upsetting the organic development of the Roman liturgy throughout the centuries.

    This was, at least, a sacrilegious attack on the Roman tradition of the worshipful reverence and holiness in approaching the sacred altar. This deconstruction of the Roman rubrics for receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the "Novus Ordo Missae" was a "liturgical time bomb", as the late Michael Davies has said that was heard around the entire Catholic world. Thus began the modernist revolution and woeful decline of the centuries-old Roman rubrics of faithful Catholics in receiving the Eucharist with holy reverence.

    The initial removal of communion rails, which separated for ages the faithful from the clerics, literally opened the altar of God to this invasion of the sanctuary by the unordained for the first time in centuries, facilitating the sacrilegious innovation of Communion in the hand. Likewise this was the first salvo in a seemingly endless barrage of wreckovation attacks of the holy temple of God by the modernists after Vatican II. In fact, more deleterious to the collapse of Roman rubrics than anything else-- even the "Novus Ordo Missae" itself-- was the irreverent innovation of Communion in the hand.
    Yes, as our current holy pontiff so truly says in anticipation of his great "Motu Proprio" and the liberalization of the Tridentine Mass of St. Pius V for all priests everywhere to say again throughout the Catholic Church, it will, indeed, be a "serene" moment of Roman Catholic Orthodoxy for us all!
    God bless us all and our great pope Benedict XVI on the threshold of this historical moment.

    j hughes dunphy

  5. Cardinals Francis Arinze?

    Oh dear. Couldn't he muster up a little flu that day and let Ranjith do the job.

    I don't trust him not to undermine it even as he speaks to it.

  6. Back in the day (1985), there were rumors of a similar document resting "on the Holy Father's desk." The commission of cardinals had met and recommended that this liberalization (or something like it) take place. Then there were years (decades) of anticipation and frustration.

    And now the dream is about to come true. Lord, how mysteriously You work.

    It is only now apparent how dramatically the landscape has changed. Something that would never have been thought possible a few short years ago is now likely to become reality...the Classical Rite taking its rightful place beside the New...a place where it can serve to instruct and inform the faithful as well as instructing and informing the proper celebration of the New Rite.

    Anticipation is building everywhere. What an exciting time!


  7. Anonymous5:56 AM

    Thank you New Catholic for share this news to us.

    Our new "Mission Impossible" is to keep calm and serene. We'll try hard.

    I would prefer too, to see Card Ranjith in that conference.

    We should thank the Pope an Card Castrillón as well.

  8. For Fr. Lombardi during this year, for Fr. Bux "it's a question of days". And it was imminent in the second Bertone interview... some weeks ago.

    "serenity and patience" : this must be a touch of Bavarian humour...
    - patience : those who are waiting for this - freedom for TLM has been requested by Bp Castro Mayer in 1969, and so many others - since 1970, certainly have used "patience" ! and the same who have been waiting since Autumn 2005 are certainly models of patience. Two years of the Vatican Rumor-Mill Pontifical Council letting fly new rumor every month, now every week, close to every day now, during 2 years and nothing in the end but new "statements", sure you have to be patient.
    - serenity : that's for our mitred Excellencies. we'll see if the hierarchy is preaching by example this time. In the past 2 years, in France, Germany, at the 2005 Synod, in Aparecida CELAM, the president of USCCB, all of these bishops have exhibited a serious lack of "serenity", to say the least.
    We can pray they could be touched this time by grace and maybe common sense.
    Judging by the total lack of the latter with the CELAM final document, it will be a miracle.

  9. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Leeds - England. The local Bishop (England's representative on ICEL) has just spent $4 million on an aggressive N.O. reordering of the Cathedral, this since the election of B16. I remain doubtful that the motu proprio will be issued without severe restrictions. If it is to be issued at all. Semantics might be involved but my suspicion is that Bishops will still have the final word on all this. Watching Fellay on "youtube" confirms my doubts as he believes that B16 is under "severe pressure" from within the Vatican and beyond.

  10. Tantum semper Sacramentum veneremur cernui,

    Et antiquo documentum novum cedat ritui.

  11. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Latin grammar alert! And here of all places:

    "Et *antiquum* documentum. *Novo* cedat ritui."

    Or is this merely a Latin illiterate modernist celebrating the replacement of the old rite with the new?

  12. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Anonymous, read again and get the joke!

  13. Or is this merely a Latin illiterate modernist

    Internet Trads are rubbish at Latin too. The more pretentiously Latinate and "Old Rite" the handle, the more certainly its bearer won't know his ablative from a hole in the ground - in my experience ;o)

  14. I thought it was a good joke.

    ob. guess: 6/20

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. I'm reminded of Ronald Knox's observation on the competence of Catholics in their much-loved liturgical tongue:
    Master: "Please translate the following: Tantum ergo sacramentum"
    Student (confidently): "Down in adoration falling"

  17. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Thanks be to God.
    Its been a long time comming, but worth the wait.
    I'm a little perplexed by the bishops who oppose this. If I'm not mistaken, the bishops who have been the most adamant against the free use of the Tridentine missal are the ones who's flock have abandoned the Church. How can this hurt? Empty pews on Sunday. They already have that.

    - Mike

  18. Not so much a joke as a heartfelt prayer. Let the new rite give way to the old.

  19. Anonymous11:21 AM

    I don't know where Mr. Volpe's "facts" come from, but the Society of St. Pius X (referred to by Mr. Volpe as "followers of Archbishop Lefevre" are, according to many Vatican officials, NOT in schism. Furthermore, other than the Mass of St. Pius V, there are many, many issues left to be addressed and corrected before there could ever be a return to normal relations between the Society and Rome. The Motu Proprio allowing a universal permission to all Latin Rite priests to say the Mass is only the first concern chosen to be addressed before a possible "return" can be considered. The SSPX has much work yet to do to help to bring the Church out of the crisis in which she now finds herself.

  20. Anonymous3:14 PM

    You translate as
    "The limitation of the Tridentine Mass by the Second Vatican Council [sic] has been the main cause of the schism between the followers of French bishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Church of Rome. A painful schism [i.e. "schismatic group"], which arose in the Pontificate of John Paul II, which, with the "Motu Proprio" of Benedict XVI, seems destined to return definitively."

    this original
    "In molti, erroneamente, addebitano lo scisma dei seguaci del Vescovo francese Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre dalla Chiesa di Roma alla limitazione della Messa tridentina. In realtà, i cosiddetti “lefebvriani” hanno sempre continuato a celebrare con il rito di San Pio V e si sono allontanati dal Vaticano per alcune ordinazioni vescovili non autorizzate dal Papa. Tuttavia, ora, con la liberalizzazione della Messa tridentina, dovrebbe anche rientrare questo scisma."

    Being Italian, I would translate it as

    "Many, erroneously, charge the schism of the followers of French Bishop Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre from Church of Rome to the limitation of the Tridentine Mass. In reality, the “Lefebvrists” have always continued to celebrate the Rite of Saint Pius V, and they moved away from the Vatican because of the ordinations of Bishops, not authorized by the Pope .However, now, with the liberalisation of the Tridentine Mass, there should be a re-examination of this schism."


  21. Maria, we are very pleased to notice that our translation is not at all wrong, but that the original text itself was altered (Petrus unfortunately does not mention this fact).

    The complete article, as it was first published, was saved by us and is the following, with the passage you mention in bold letters.


    Esclusivo: firmato dal Papa il "Motu Proprio", imminente la liberalizzazione della Messa in latino

    di Bruno Volpe

    Il “Motu Proprio” papale per la liberalizzazione della Messa in latino secondo il rito tridentino di San Pio V è pronto, sta per essere tradotto in diverse lingue e sarà pubbblicato appena Benedetto XVI andrà a Castelgandolfo per l’inizio delle vacanze estive. Il testo è stato già firmato dal Pontefice, che ha anche redatto una lunga carta esplicativa, di carattere teologico, "indirizzata a tutti i vescovi del mondo", così come si può leggere nell’introduzione, "perché possano accogliere con serenità e pazienza questo documento". Il Papa chiede quindi ai vescovi, al clero e ai fedeli un clima sereno nell’accettare il “Motu Proprio”, che sarà presentato con una conferenza stampa dai Cardinali Francis Arinze, Dario Castrillon Hoyos e Julian Herranz. Il ritardo nella pubblicazione del documento pare si debba a forti resistenze in alcuni settori del clero (specialmente da parte della Conferenza episcopale francese). Il teologo e collaboratore della Congregazione per la Dottrina della fede, Monsignor Nicola Bux (amico personale del Santo Padre), afferma: "Potete scriverlo tranquillamente, il Papa Benedetto XVI ama la concertazione e la collaborazione e non vuol decidere tutto da solo, per questo ha ascoltato vari e ripetuti pareri, ma il Motu Proprio per la liberalizzazione della Messa in latino è stato firmato ed è imminente la sua pubblicazione, direi che è questione di giorni". La Messa tridentina è celebrata interamente in latino, ad eccezione di alcune parole e frasi in greco antico ed ebraico; è inframmezzata da lunghi periodi di silenzio, per consentire ai fedeli di poter adeguatamente meditare circa la grandezza del mistero eucaristico al quale sono chiamati ad assistere. I fedeli seguono la liturgia leggendo il messalino od il foglietto bilingue, che riportano, a fianco del testo latino, la traduzione integrale dei passi in italiano o nelle altre lingue nazionali. Non è soltanto l’uso della lingua ecclesiastica ed universale ("cattolico" significa appunto universale) a costituire la sola differenza intercorrente tra la Messa tridentina e quella moderna. Il sacerdote, a differenza di quanto avviene nel corso del nuovo rito, volge le spalle ai fedeli, in quanto celebra rivolto al tabernacolo ed all’altare che costituisce la rappresentazione del Calvario, l’immagine è quella del celebrante che guida il popolo. Il Vangelo viene letto sempre sul lato destro dell’altare, mentre l’Epistola sul lato sinistro (da cui il termine «in cornu evangelii» e «in cornu epistulae». La comunione - solo l’ostia, per i fedeli - viene ricevuta in ginocchio, e in bocca. Alla Messa si assiste per lo più in ginocchio, perché si crede al suo grandissimo mistero, perché si crede alla presenza reale di Gesù in corpo, sangue, anima e divinità, perché in ginocchio è la postura dell'umile peccatore che implora la misercordia di Dio. L’abrogazione della Messa tridentina da parte del Concilio Vaticano II è stata la causa principale dello scisma tra i seguaci del vescovo francese Marcel Lefebvre e la Chiesa di Roma. Uno scisma doloroso, nato sotto il Pontificato di Giovanni Paolo II, che con il “Motu Proprio” di Benedetto XVI sembra destinato a rientrare definitivamente.


    We kindly ask our readers to contact us first by mail regarding what they perceive to be translation mistakes -- which, more often than not, as in the present case, are not mistakes at all.

    We completely stand by our translations.

    Thank you, Maria, for noticing the change in the original Petrus article.

  22. The Gospel is always read at the right side of the altar, while the Epistle on the left side (from whence the terms "in cornu evangelii" and "in cornu epistulae"). Communion - only the Host [sic] for the faithful - is received while kneeling and in the mouth.

    Am I the only person to notice they got their cornu's messed up? It is the opposite, the epistle is read on the right side, and the Gospel on the left of the priest.

  23. Ha! I wondered who would be the first to notice this.

    In fact, what is written is correct. The original article referred to the traditional name of these sides. As the old Catholic Encyclopedia recalls ("Altar Side"): "Before 1488, the epistle side was called the right side of the altar, and the gospel side the left. In that year, Augustine Patrizi, Bishop of Pienza, published a ceremonial in which the epistle side is called the left of the altar, and the gospel side the right, the denomination being taken from the facing of the cross, the principal ornament of the altar, not of the priest or the laity. This change of expression was accepted by St. Pius V and introduced into the rubrics."

    For instance, in the Ritus Servandus, "Osculato Altari, accedit ad cornu ejus sinistrum, id est Epistolæ..."

  24. Anonymous4:08 PM

    The Philippines is waiting... No more question asked...


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