Rorate Caeli

Motu proprio notes: The meeting

In the picture, from left to right:
Burke, Bagnasco, Koch, Dziwisz, Bertone, Mvé Engone, the Pope,
O'Malley, Castrillón, Ruini, Toppo, Ricard, Pell, Arinze, and Murphy O'Connor

We thank reader Simon Peter for compiling the list (to which we added a couple of missing names) of those who were present at the meeting last Wednesday for the presentation of the motu proprio on the liberalization of the Traditional Mass and its accompanying letter, and who were later joined by the Holy Father. The list reveals as much about those who were present, as about those who were not invited.

Roman Curia:

1. Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State
2. Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
3. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

4. Cardinal Ruini, Cardinal Vicar of Rome
5. Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference
6. Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the French Episcopal Conference
7. Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon
8. Cardinal Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz, President of the German Episcopal Conference
England and Wales
9. Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
10. Kurt Koch, Bishop of Basel, President of the Swiss Episcopal Conference
11. Cardinal Dziwisz, Archbishop of Cracow

United States
12. Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston
13. Raymond Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis
14. Basile Mvé Engone, Archbishop of Libreville, President of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon
15. Cardinal Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India
16. Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney

Note: Though the list includes no diocesan ordinaries from Latin America, different sources confirm that two Latin American prelates (probably, considering the list, two presidents of episcopal conferences) were invited, but "justified" their absence. They probably had no idea that the Pope would personally greet them and discuss the matter with them for one hour. The pretentiousness and self-sufficiency of many Latin American Bishops were not softened by the Papal visit to the region in May...

Picture: Source


According to the Rome correspondent of the Argentinian daily La Nación (see also UCANews - in English):

... in the meeting sub secreto of the day before yesterday, Cardinal Bertone explained that the main reason for the imminent document is to favor reconciliation with the ultra-orthodox Lefebvrists of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X.


The second motive for the Motu Proprio is to satisfy and to placate the demands of the Traditionalist sectors which, while not having left with the Lefebvrists, desire the reestablishment of the old rite in Latin. And the third and last [reason] is "not to lose the treasures of the past" implicit in the Latin liturgy, which presents a much more complex choreography, but instead to integrate them into modern culture.


  1. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Very interesting and appropriate that Archbishop Burke was there. In addition to his well-documented sympathy for the Classic Liturgy, it may suggest he will be getting the "Southern" red hat this Fall.

  2. Indeed, Woody, I had the same thought: I hope that Burke isn't far from the red hat.

    Interesting to me that the only bishop from "Asia" was from India: what about Corea or the Philippines or Japan? I guess the thought is that there is little to no interest in those places.

    I hope - maybe it's too much to hope this - that the prelates in these regions will take it upon themselves to make available a public Tridentine Mass, perhaps in the cathedral cities.

  3. Has someone speculated already and I missed it - but why Cardinal O'Malley?

  4. Anonymous4:30 PM

    - why Cardinal O'Malley?

    Perhaps because he has a blog and might spread the word that way??

  5. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Why not either Bishop Skylstad or Cardinal George? And I'm not sure which one is now President of the US Conference of Bishops.


  6. Sir,
    Martin Luther want to destroy the Catholic Church, so he said as "Tolle Missam Tolle Eclessiam" that is destroy the Papal Mass destroy the Church. After the Vatican II considerable lay catholics are left the Church. All good values are lost, heritage and artistical altars are demolished. Now Benedict 16 is the greatest Pope like as Saint Gregory VII in 1074. The TLM is to be resurructed. DEO GRATIAS.

  7. Indeed, the glaring absence of the head of the USCCB speaks volumes.

    Every other Bishop is the head of their countries' conference.


  8. Anonymous5:54 PM

    I'm not American, but have noted for some time that Archbishop Burke of St Louis has already attained the stature of a leading Cardinal, throughout the English-speaking world at least. He really stands apart. His elevation to the sacred College can only be a mere formality now.

  9. The secular media react

    From today’s Le Monde:

    (Translated by Mornac – corrections invited)

    The Pope Prepares a Major Concession to Traitionalist Catholics

    The Vatican announced on Thursday June 28, that the motu proprio of the pope facilitating the Latin Mass would be published in an imminent manner, preceded by “a long letter” of explanation by Benedict XVI. On Wednesday June 27, the Pope and his Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, had met with about fifteen bishops including American, English, Swiss, German and French (Cardinals Barbarin, Ricard,as well as Mgr Vingt-trois), that is to say the countries most affected by the traditionalist schism. The Vatican is taking a maximum amount of precautions before making the previously announced text public, as it will undoubtedly have explosive consequences.

    The content of the motu proprio is known. The rite in force before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) – known as “Tridentine”, dating from the Council of Trent with Mass in Latin, back of the priest turned to the congregation, etc. - will become again “of full right”, like “an extraordinary form of the one Roman rite” (Paul VI Mass of 1969). If a group of Catholics desires tomorrow to have the celebration of the old Mass, they will no longer need the preliminary authorization of the bishop.

    The prime objective of the pope is to calm the tensions reaching across the Church on this question of the rite. Dioceses in France, in Germany, and in the United States authorize the old Mass offered by priests under the authority of their bishop. But such Masses are also celebrated, in a maverick fashion, by priests in “breech of communion” with the Church, in particular those of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X (500 priests) created by Mgr Lefebvre, rebel bishop of the Second Vatican Council, excommunicated by John Paul II in 1988 for having consecrated four bishops without his authorization.

    The long term objective of Benedict XVI is to encourage the reinstatement of these Catholic traditionalists (approximately 150,000) who are nostalgic for the old Mass and hostile to the reforms of Vatican II. A man of tradition and orthodoxy, the Pope has often criticized the “abuses” in the application of the liturgical reform. He expects that the liberalized use of the Latin Mass will be able to restore unity. The rehabilitation of Fraternity of Saint Pius X and the lifting of excommunications would be the later stages of the reconciliation.

    But many bishops (in France and the United States) are worried about the risks of division that this Papal maneuver is likely to incur. A de facto bi-ritualism will be established in the Catholic Church in West (the Churches of the East have their own rites). Many priests have already expressed their fear of the strong-arm tactics of traditionalist groups which now, taking umbrage under the Popes decision, will demand of them the celebration of the Latin Mass.

    This concession to the traditionalists also worries the large majority of Catholics who are adapted to Vatican II, for which the banality of the Latin Mass – [with its pretexts] – may jeopardize the more recent advances of the Church like the recognition of the freedom of religion, ecumenism, and the dialogue with the Judaism or Islam.,1-0@2-3214,36-929536,0.html?xtor=RSS-3208

  10. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Card. Bergolgio (arch-bishop of Buenos Aires, head of the local Conference) has always been reluctant to authorize the TLM in his diocese, even though hundreds of signatures requesting so has been handed to him. He clearly despises latin, ans is an enemy of orthodoxy. I dont think he was invited this time. We desperately need good bishops of sound orthodoxy in Argentina. Otherwise the Motu Propio could beof little help among us.

  11. Hong Kong has a bi-weekly Tridentine Mass so far. There's definitely demand in Asia.


    Attack of a catholic comunity in the village of Niafles in France.

    The anarchist anti-catholics attack the church before the sunday Mass.

    Diffuse this video ... to know what's happend to a catholic comunity who celebrate the Mass of Pie V until 40 years without broching the bound with the local bishop and the Holy Father.

    Before the publication of the MOTU PROPRIO of Benedict XVI, many anti-catholic groups try to clean the place before before the publication of Motu Proprio.


  13. Anonymous7:21 PM

    I have to wonder this just for the Mass or is it for everything?? You know..the Sacraments (baptism, confirmation, weddings, etc, etc)? I am getting married next year and my fiance and I want so much to have a Nuptial Mass in the Tridentine. I hope this liberates all of it

  14. Thanks, KTOVox. For those who wish to watch the distressing Sunday events at Niafles, the link is this:



    Yes, Rachel, it will be for the whole rite (or form of rite, as they have insisted for a couple of years, now), including all sacraments, according to the rubrics in place in 1962.

  15. Anonymous7:39 PM

    Polish Cardinal, Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, was also present.

    Jeremy Kryn

  16. That's a classic Mornac!

    "the large majority of Catholics who are adapted to Vatican II,"

    This article from Le Monde at the end sounds very much like part of the AP report (via a local TV station here in North carolina) I posted on my blog yesterday with walk on parts by one Father Kubler of La Croix and the usual compulsory Jesuit.

    Although the AP article was written by one Victor Simpson, a man by the name of of Marco Chown Oved, an AP writer in Paris, contributed.

    Episcopal fingerprints?

    [from the AP report, yesterday]

    Some cardinals and bishops, particularly in France - where Lefebvre's group is strong - have objected to any liberalizing of the terms for using the old rite, saying its broader use could lead to divisions within the church, and could imply a rejection of other Vatican II teachings.

    Other concerns have come from groups involved in Christian-Jewish dialogue, because the Tridentine rite contains prayers that some non-Christians find offensive, including references to "perfidious" Jews. The Tridentine liturgy predates the landmark documents from Vatican II on improving relations with Jews and people of other faiths.

    "A good half of the (Catholic) fundamentalists in the world are in France. This is why French Catholics are particularly concerned about their influence on the pope," said the Rev. Michel Kubler, religious editor of the French Catholic daily La Croix.

    He said bishops were also worried, that any major change "could erode their ability to control how the faith is practiced." [comment for KTOVOX, Niafles fait accompli?]

    "The real issue here is not limited to liturgy[sic] but has wider implications for church[sic] life," the Rev. Keith Pecklers, a Jesuit liturgical expert, said in an e-mail. He said proponents of the old Mass "tend to oppose the laity's increased role in parish life and worship since Vatican II along with the Catholic Church's ecumenical collaboration with other Christians and its dialogue with Jews and Muslims."


    Jeremy Kryn:

    I noticed on your profile you spent some time here in Raleigh at NC State. Do you have a relative here of polish ancestry who is a (real) catholic Doctor?

  17. Anonymous8:03 PM

    It is interesting to know that the president of the brazilian bishops conference was in Rome to receive the palium and also he wasnt invited!

  18. "t is interesting to know that the president of the brazilian bishops conference was in Rome to receive the palium and also he wasnt invited!"

    If you read the May 11 address to Brazilian bishops by pope Benedict XVI, the contrary would have been VERY surprising. I feel you have to go back to Pius XI shouting at the then dumb "Heil Hitler" Kardinal of Vienna (1938) to read such a thrashing of bishops from a pope ...
    If you remember the § of CELAM final document loathing anything traditional, I guess you have an answer.

  19. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Despite a common belief, Cardinal Pell is not the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. That position is currently held by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who ordained Fr Michael McCaffrey FSSP to the priesthood this time last year in the Adelaide Cathedral.

  20. Anonymous9:52 PM


    I just posted the below at Father Z's. I thought it prudent to post it here as well.

    I pray it's not true and nothing to worry about, but didn't think the possibility should be ignored.


    Not to change the subject, but I just saw a very disturbing article regarding yesterday’s motu-meeting at COL. It’s a wire story from UCANews //

    The most disturbing line of the story is the last one, “The Motu Proprio provides for a review of the situation in three years.”

    I certainly hope this isn’t true. If Benedict isn’t pope three years from now…God forbid.

    I can’t believe there would be a time limit to this thing. Any pastor or bishop for whom this is bad medicine can simply swish the cure around a bit before spitting it out in 2010.

    Reports have said that the MP might be adjusted a bit before release. I suggest we raise holy heck about this (by respectfully objecting to it here and elsewhere), while we still have the chance.

  21. Anonymous10:01 PM

    The rumored 3 year review is rediculous on the face of it. This is the Pope's own initiative (Motu Proprio) and he needs no pre-determined time limit to review his own laws -- he can do so at any time. This rumor is based on wishful thinking by spinsters. This rumor has no named source -- let alone one who was actually at the meeting in Rome.


  22. We did not identify Cardinal Pell as president of the ACBC.
    Thank you, Jon.
    Dear Alsaticus, you are quite right (as usual).

  23. Anonymous10:08 PM

    Cardinal Sean has his new blog up with a description of the meeting on Wednesday. He says that the TM is not much in demand in the US. Just wait and see, Your Eminence!

  24. As one can see, Cardinals Barbarin and Lehmann are not in the picture above. Were they in the meeting? Probably: most sources mention their names. Perhaps Lehmann (whose name was mentioned by Die Welt minutes after the meeting) was calling Die Welt and Barbarin was calling La Croix for the news...

    Anonymous, Cardinal O'Malley's spin on the Traditionalist situation in America is quite amusing. More on that later.

  25. Anonymous10:56 PM

    Indeed, Cardinal O'Malley's take was quite amusing. I can't wait to hear Archbishop Burke's version of the story.


  26. Cardinal Barbarin had to step out to take make an urgent call to Bishop Maillard..."zut alors! puis zut!! vite Armand, vite!"

    Cardinal Lehmann was just too overcome and emotional, so, to better compliment his dignity he was excused to organize the next Mainz Carnival where he'll be surpassing his previous theatrical roles by playing a novel fusion of Sancho Panza & Charlie Chaplin.

  27. Anonymous11:42 PM

    The picture strikes me as the complete oposite of the photograph from the 1960s of Paul VI and the protestant observers/consultants when the Novus Ordo Missae was devised.

  28. Anonymous11:55 PM

    Of course the 3-year review could be looked at froma different a way of defusing opposition by reassurance that it's a temporary experiment when the intention is otherwise.

    Other reports say that Cardinal Arinze opposed the motu proprio and that its text was diluted from a stronger first draft...and if he is alive,three years from now Benedict XVI will still be pope,but alive or dead,three years from now Cardinal Arinze will almost certainly not be Prefect of Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

    So 2010 might see a strengthened codification rather than a repeal.

  29. Not one bishop from Canada. I guess we are too small or too unimportant.

  30. Anonymous10:25 AM

    NC said:

    'We did not identify Cardinal Pell as president of the ACBC.'

    I thought that's what Tom S. implied when he wrote:

    'Indeed, the glaring absence of the head of the USCCB speaks volumes.
    Every other Bishop is the head of their countries' conference.'


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