Rorate Caeli

Motu Proprio notes: A warm reception?...

Agence France-Presse (Le Forum Catholique - also at La Croix) reports from the grand opening of the new central building of the French Episcopal Conference (the "Maison de la CEF"), in Paris.

The Papal decree liberalizing the Latin Mass published on Saturday

PARIS, July 4 2007 (AFP) - The papal decree (motu proprio) liberalizing the Traditional Latin Mass will be published on Saturday, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux and President of the Conference of the Bishops of France (CEF), announced Wednesday in Paris.

The text, accompanied by an explanatory letter of Pope Benedict XVI, should be sent "these days" to the Bishops who, in their turn, will inform the priests of their diocese about it. In his letter, Cardinal Ricard specified, the Pope details the motives for his decision, asking, on one hand, Catholics who have followed the evolutions begun by the Second Vatican Council, to "understand" the faithfulness to the Traditional rite, and, on the other hand, Traditionalists, to recognize the evolution of the Church, ecumenism, or interreligious dialogue. Cardinal Ricard presided on Wednesday over the official opening of the new building of the CEF ... .
To celebrate the Mass in the Tridentine rite, an authorization of the Bishop was needed. With the motu proprio, it will be up to parishes to authorize the Tridentine Mass. Nevertheless, several Bishops present at the opening of the CEF building said Wednesday that they themselves would remain in charge of this matter.
Tip: Le Forum Catholique [Picture of the Chapel of Saint Francis de Sales in the new CEF building in Paris.]


  1. Anonymous10:03 PM

    In other words, we are hearing that some bishops are going to ignore the MP? Do they realize what that will do? Or don't they care?

  2. Good. Then we can see them for the schismatic heretics that most of them are, and the situation for what most of us believe it is. Bring on the fight. Lets re-seed the church. The Verna Tertia approaches.

  3. Anonymous10:18 PM

    Or it could just be bishops trying to save face. After all, if what we hear about the MP is true, they will have some sort of role to play in the implementation of it in their dioceses.

  4. Anonymous10:22 PM

    It is pretty clear that if this document doesnt 'guarantee' the 'right' to attend/celebrate a TLM then this document would actually be an undermining of traditionalism in a way no previous document was. On top of that it will drive groups like the sspx further away (as well as increase the sspx membership). The Pope is not stupid.

    For a bishop to go out of his way to forbid it, after the MP is published would only expose them for who they are.

    BUT, Im NOT going to get over exited YET...I have a STRONG feeling this is the type of "news" we were going to get and those liberals are in fact going into overtime to destroy our hopes and confidence over the next few days.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Anonymous10:48 PM

    I think you're probably right about attempts from various people to discourage us, but it also won't surprise me if there are safeguards in the document, because as you say, the Pope is very savvy.

    I'm sure we will hear plenty more of this stuff. Indeed, in the US, there might be attempts to do something to us using the USCCB, so that individual bishops don't have to be singled out. But it won't work, I suspect because of the way the document will probably be written. All this is pretty predictable, actually and has, no doubt, been foreseen in the document.

    The Vatican got street smart after spending years trying to get a decent translation of the CCC out of the English speaking ICEL. It's going to be OK.

  7. Anonymous11:48 PM

    "to Traditionalists, to recognize the evolution of the Church, ecumenism, or interreligious dialogue."


  8. Romano Amerio, Iota Unum, p154.

    From the Catholic’s point of view, the end of dialogue cannot be heuristic, since he is in possession of religious truth, not in search of it. Nor can it be eristic, that is, aimed at winning the argument for its own sake, since its motive and goal is charity.

    True dialogue is aimed at demonstrating a truth, at producing a conviction in another person, and ultimately at conversion. This was clearly taught by Paul VI in his speech of 27 June 1968:

    “It is not enough to draw close to others, to talk to them, to assure them of our trust and to seek their good. One must also take steps to convert them. One must preach to get them to come back. One must try to incorporate them into the divine plan, that is one and unique.”

    This is a very important papal utterance, because the Pope was expressly talking about ecumenical dialogue.


    I'm interested what, if anything, I will now be required to swallow. Still, the source...I mean *ahem*.

  9. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Dear Rorate:
    Did not Pope Paul VI say, towards the end of his reign, that the "smoke of Satan had entered the sanctuary of the church"? And was he not, the sole pope in all the history of the Church, to create his own mass: "the Novus Ordo MIssae."

    For those who don't think that this is a battle, I am reminded of a comment from a protestant minister who converted to the faith a few years back and brought his whole congregation & family with him: When asked his reaction to the pedophilia crisis in the church, he commented that "Now I know we found the true church...Satan wouldn't want the wrong one this badly" Anyone out there still doubting the "smoke of Satan" in the church?????

  10. Regarding the reception of the MP I can say only one thing:


  11. Anonymous3:53 AM

    The three big stumbing blocks are: the liturgy, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. One down, two to go. It's not over yet!

  12. I shall read it with a full champagne glass.

    If it is already provoking some Bishops like this, probably means the text is good.

    Looks as if we shall also have to be vigilant about bishops victimising parish priests for saying yes. This is only the end of the beginning.

  13. Anonymous11:06 AM

    It's nice that The Holy Father has chosen the seventh of the seventh of the seventh, n'est-ce pas?

    They're very holy numbers..........

  14. Anonymous11:19 AM

    "The text, accompanied by an explanatory letter of Pope Benedict XVI, should be sent "these days" to the Bishops who, in their turn, will inform the priests of their diocese about it."

    This would seem to suggest that the document will not be made public; or is it just that the bishops will be asked to draw it to the attention of those priests who have not spontaneously downloaded it from the vatican website and pasted it into their parish newsletter?

  15. Anonymous11:38 AM

    It will be made public on the Vatican newspaper, according to the news release. It's just that the pope wanted to inform bishops first so that they couldn't come back complaining about that in addition to having their powers to prohibit the TLM being taken away. That's all.

    I expect they all have copies by now and are reading them is sad, silly slow motion.

    We should all have the document soon, I expect.

  16. Anonymous11:56 AM

    That's a spectacular shower/bath the French bishops have there...are there any pictures of their chapel?

  17. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Vatican - Agence I.MEDIA - 4 juillet 2007 - 6400 signes

    Le Motu Proprio ‘Summorum pontificum’ pour la libéralisation de la messe selon le missel de 1962 sera publié le 7 juillet.

    La Lettre apostolique sous forme de Motu Proprio que Benoît XVI s’apprête à publier en vue de libéraliser l’usage de la messe et des livres liturgiques selon le rite préconciliaire de 1962 portera le nom de ‘Summorum pontificum’, a appris I.MEDIA de sources vaticanes. Ce document très attendu du côté des fidèles traditionalistes et craint par un certain nombre d’évêques sera publié le 7 juillet prochain.

    ‘Summorum pontificum cura’ (en français, ‘le soin des souverains pontifes’) est l’incipit (début du texte) du Motu Proprio de Benoît XVI libéralisant l’usage de la messe dite ‘de saint Pie V’, a appris I.MEDIA de sources vaticanes. Les deux premier mots de cette lettre apostolique donnent son nom au document pontifical qui sera rendu public par le Vatican le 7 juillet prochain. Le document sera accompagné d’une longue lettre du pape faisant part de ses motivations pour cette publication que certains évêques, en France particulièrement, voient d’un mauvais oeil.

    Par ce texte, le pape entend étendre à l’Eglise tout entière la possibilité de célébrer la messe selon les livres liturgiques promulgués le 23 juin 1962, durant le pontificat de Jean XXIII, juste avant le Concile Vatican II et la réforme qui a suivi, en 1969 et 1970. Il fera de ce rite préconciliaire “une forme extraordinaire de l’unique rite romain“, celui postconciliaire dit ‘de Paul VI’.

    Outre le rituel de la messe, le document devrait donc concerner également les sacrements du baptême, du mariage, de la confirmation et de l’onction des malades, ainsi que la célébration des obsèques. Si le latin est la langue d’usage du rite tridentin, l’utilisation de la langue vernaculaire devrait être autorisée pour les lectures liturgiques.

    Le nouveau document mettra fin à l’exigence de requérir une dispense (appelée ‘indult’) à l’évêque diocésain en vue de pouvoir célébrer la messe selon le rite de 1962. Il devrait autoriser la célébration dans les paroisses diocésaines d’une seule messe selon la forme préconciliaire par dimanche et jour de fête, excepté durant le Triduum pascal. ‘Summorum pontificum’ devrait en outre encourager à la création de ‘paroisses personnelles’ dans les diocèses où seul le rite tridentin sera alors célébré.

    L’évêque local ne devrait alors pouvoir intervenir qu’en cas de litige entre un de ses prêtres et un groupe de fidèles. Si nécessaire, il pourra aussi s’adresser à la commission pontificale Ecclesia Dei chargée de trancher en dernière instance.

    Par conséquent, le nouveau Motu Proprio abrogera celui promulgué par Jean-Paul II en juillet 1988, Ecclesia Dei adflicta, ainsi que le document de la Congrégation pour le culte divin et la discipline des sacrements d’octobre 1984, Quattuor abhinc annos, approuvé par le pape et accordant aux évêques diocésains la possibilité d’user d’un indult pour la célébration de la messe en rite tridentin.

    Le pape devrait par ailleurs préciser qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un retour en arrière mais d’un geste généreux en vue de mettre à la disposition de l’ensemble des fidèles les immenses trésors spirituels, culturels et esthétiques liés à l’ancienne liturgie.

    Benoît XVI semble ainsi accorder la priorité à ce dossier qu’il connaît sur le bout des doigts. Ainsi, dans son ouvrage Ma vie, souvenirs (Editions Fayard, 1998), le cardinal Joseph Ratzinger reconnaissait après coup avoir été “consterné de l’interdiction de l’ancien missel“. Dans Le sel de la terre (Editions du Cerf, 1999), il confiait que “l’on devrait accorder beaucoup plus généreusement à tous ceux qui le souhaitent le droit de conserver l’ancien rite“.

    Dès 1986, une commission cardinalice à laquelle participait le cardinal Ratzinger avait souhaité faciliter la célébration de la messe selon le rite de 1962. En tant que préfet de la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi, le cardinal allemand - féru de liturgie depuis son plus jeune âge - avait suivi la genèse de la séparation des fidèles intégristes avec Rome. Le Saint-Siège avait alors tenté par tous les moyens de les garder dans le giron de l’Eglise catholique jusqu’à ce que Mgr Lefebvre commette un acte de désobéissance “grave“, le 30 juin 1988, en ordonnant quatre évêques sans l’approbation du pape. Ils avaient alors été excommuniés.

    Le Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei de Jean-Paul II du 2 juillet 1988 les déclarait schismatiques, mais ouvrait cependant la voie à la réintégration dans l’Eglise catholique des membres de la fraternité qui le souhaiteraient, encourageant les évêques à une utilisation “large et généreuse“ de l’indult. Une Commission du même nom fut aussi créée afin de faciliter la pleine communion ecclésiale “des prêtres, séminaristes, communautés religieuses ou religieux individuels ayant eu des liens avec la Fraternité fondée par Mgr Lefebvre et désirant rester unis au successeur de Pierre dans l’Eglise catholique en conservant leurs traditions spirituelles et liturgiques“.

    Au début de son pontificat, en août 2005, Benoît XVI avait souhaité rencontrer Mgr Bernard Fellay, le supérieur de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X fondée par Mgr Lefebvre. Puis, en février 2006, le pape avait convoqué au Vatican les chefs de dicastères de la curie romaine pour une réunion à huis clos essentiellement consacrée au sort de cette fraternité et des fidèles traditionalistes.

    C’est au printemps 2006 qu’était clairement apparue la possibilité que le pape publie un décret visant à faciliter le retour vers l’Eglise catholique des fidèles intégristes s’inscrivant dans la lignée de Mgr Marcel Lefebvre. Le 8 septembre de la même année, le pape autorisait la création de l’Institut du Bon Pasteur pour réunir cinq prêtres issus de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X et quelques séminaristes.

    Après l’autorisation élargie de la célébration dans le rite de saint Pie V, une des deux exigences du côté des intégristes demeurera : celle de la levée des excommunications de 1988. Ensuite, un dialogue théologique pourrait voir le jour sur un autre fossé qui sépare Rome et cette frange traditionaliste autour de certains ‘fruits’ du Concile Vatican II comme l’œcuménisme, le dialogue interreligieux et la liberté religieuse. Mais, du côté de Rome, ces ‘fruits’ ne sont pas négociables.

    Cependant, ce nouveau document souhaite aller bien au-delà des seuls fidèles de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X. Il concerne les fidèles traditionalistes au sens large, ceux qui n’ont pas rejetés le Concile Vatican II mais restent attachés à la liturgie traditionnelle. AMI

  18. Anonymous12:21 PM

    "excepté durant le Triduum pascal."

    (Mmh...Wait and see...)

  19. The Triduum exception is pretty obvious, since there can only be one set of such services in any one church for practical reasons.

    Bear in mind that this is contemplating a situation where lay people are requesting Masses in their normal parishes that would not otherwise have taken place. Clearly, such a group isn't going to be able to displace the new rite triduum services in its parish.

    Much more significant is the statement in this article that the document would "encourage the creation of personal parishes within diocese, where the only rite celebrated would be the Tridentine." There, one would have not only the full Holy Week services, but everything else which is now only available in places where one of the traditional clerical institutes has a church.

    The erection of such a parish would naturally require the Ordinary's active cooperation, but that will be a lot more likely after this document than before, given:

    a) a direct encouragement from the Holy See.
    b) the possibility that otherwise, groups of 30 people in many parishes will effectively be able to demand Masses in those parishes, if they aren't granted a home of their own.
    c) in places where there is a sympathetic pastor who is prepared to put on all the permitted services for the faithful, a de facto traditional parish could come to exist anyway.

  20. Anonymous5:12 PM

    According to the Vatican News Agency:
    "This evening, [the Holy Father] is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments."


  21. Anonymous6:19 PM

    I hope, come this weekend, we don’t all feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulled the ball away. I fail to understand the need for a “three-year trial period” on reinstating the Mass of All Time, which was never formally abolished. I pray the Pope was not coerced into making concessions that play into the hands of the Modernist hierarchy.

    Yes, I know…let’s wait until the document is actually published. Likewise, let’s hold off on uncorking the champagne just yet.

  22. Anonymous6:25 PM

    "...It is pretty clear that if this document doesnt 'guarantee' the 'right' to attend/celebrate a TLM then this document would actually be an undermining of traditionalism in a way no previous document was. On top of that it will drive groups like the sspx further away (as well as increase the sspx membership)."

    Trust me, an increased SSPX membership is not the worst thing that could come from a watered-down Motu-Proprio!

  23. "Trust me, an increased SSPX membership is not the worst thing that could come from a watered-down Motu-Proprio!"

    A watered down MP will be a definitive and radical point of change in my relationship with the Catholic Church, and I mean radical.

  24. New catholic - I thought this was interesting: A statement of intent to resist from temoignage chretien

    From Chris Gillibrand.

    I found this stuff on that website if anyone is interested.

    From Jacques Noyer bishop emeritus of Amiens: NON.

    Marcel Herriot, bishop of Soissons, Laon and Saint-Quentin says: NON.

    Another Church is Possible.

    plus other links indicating where they stand.

    Fair enough.

  25. Anonymous8:43 PM

    I've heard that that pro-abortion French bishop deposed by John Paul II is also not in favor. But that's just a rumor.

  26. Okay anon: this isn't a rumour, it's in their own words, unless you mean I am guilty of posting the obvious. Sorry.

  27. Bishop Herriot's statement is the one we published here in November 2006. Let us wait and see. 36 hours to go.

  28. anon:

    you can use the google translate function.

    you get some funny responses sometimes, but you can certainly get the gist.


    Accross the board these notes and editorials see an intrinsic connection between the old Mass and the end of ecumenism (their version), dialogue, openess, broadmindedness and so forth. The magazine itself is quite blunt in admitting this is big a victory for the "integrists" and much is at stake...

    They see ther ICK and MP as assaults on VII itself and the (new)orientation away from a dogmatic or rule bound Church (their characterization).

    At least they are forthright, you've got to give them that.

  29. Anonymous10:07 PM

    These things in French were published some time ago though. It's been going on for a while.

  30. Anonymous11:02 PM

    The nice thing is that the German District of the Sacerdotal Society of St. Pius X has begun to have their Roman Catholic lay faithful attending their chapels distribute flyers upon which the following can be read:

    "Papst Benedikt hat die überlieferte Messe freigegeben...

    Wir haben sie nie aufgegeben..."

    "Pope Benedict has given free [liberalized] the traditional Mass....

    ...We have never given it up!"

    Nice slogan, and the FSSPX wants to teach Catholic people in the Federal Republic of Germany about their existence and Roman Catholic pastoral role.

  31. S-P V-B:

    I was just playing around and being ironic...pointing out that not a few of these little French mediocrities-in-miters have not a little in common with formal heretics.

  32. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Humboldt said: "A watered down MP will be a definitive and radical point of change in my relationship with the Catholic Church, and I mean radical."

    You mean if it's watered down, you're going to convert to Judaism? ("Radical" involves going back to the root, you know)

    Seriously, Humboldt, fast and pray -- you're contemplating knowingly putting your soul in jeopardy. Please don't do anything stupid, whatever the motu proprio says or doesn't say.


    For those interested in the continued opposition by ultra-modernist clergy.

  34. Anonymous2:19 AM

    Like wise!!!!!!
    How dare you threaten the Church you love so much. How dare you make such an assault on the very thing you defend. Think for a second. If you continue to make such senseless, despaired filled statements you are acting no less than the most Modernist heretic us traditional catholics are fighting against. Cheer up man! We are going through this all together. The only thing you need to get radical about is your God given grace of Hope. If the old mass is driving you to this ridiculous rambling, switch to another rite now.

    You have mine and others prayers!

    Fortes in Fide

  35. "If the old mass is driving you to this ridiculous rambling, switch to another rite now".

    I am waiting for the Holy Father to recognize me this right, even thought the Code of Cannon Law clearly recognizes the equality of validity of all approved rites of the Church. But I hope that tomorrow this prescription by the Code of Cannon of Law will be upheld by the MP, which currently is not.


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