Rorate Caeli

Summorum Pontificum "interpreted" (read "curtailed")
by German Bishops

In German (PDF). (In the picture, Cardinal Lehmann, President of the German Episcopal Conference at the closing press conference, in Fulda.)


The possibility for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form must be carried forward under the leadership of the Bishop by the principle of harmony between the interests and well-being of the Faithful making the request and the orderly care of souls. The permission of the extraordinary form may not reinforce existing tensions or cause new division (see Summorum Pontificum Article 5 § 1).

The ordinary form of the celebration of Mass is using the Missale Romanum 1970 (in the version of the Editio typica tertia 2002 and - up to the appearance of the German issue of the 3rd Edition - `the Missal for the Dioceses of the German speaking areas' 2. 1988 Edition). For the extraordinary form of the celebration of Mass, the Missale Romanum 1962 (e.g. Editio juxta typicam Regensburg 1962, with Diocesan propers ) is to be used (see Summorum Pontificum Article 1).

The Parish Mass is to be celebrated in the ordinary form. On Sundays, one Mass in the extraordinary form, in addition can 0be celebrated, not however replacing the Mass in the ordinary form (see Summorum Pontificum Article 5 § 2).

The request for permission (in accordance with Summorum Pontificum Article 5 § 1) by groups of laymen (see Summorum Pontificum Article 7) can be made to the Parish Priest within a Parish and/or within a Parish organisation or a pastoral unit (Cathcon note- several parishes united together), which is the responsibility of a Parish Priest. If groups, however, consist of members of different Parishes and/or a Parish organisations or pastoral units, the request is to be addressed to the Diocesan bishop.

About the kind and size of the groups making the request, nothing is laid down, in order to be able to respond to the local conditions appropriately.

The necessary suitability of the priests for the celebration in the extraordinary form of the rite (see SP Article 5 § 4) is covered by the following requirements:

- General suitability, which each priest must possess;

- Acceptance of the whole liturgy of the Church in their ordinary and extraordinary forms (see accompanying letters of Pope Benedict XVI.);

- Familiarity with the extraordinary form of the Rite;

- Understanding of Latin .

The Diocesan Bishops will make, as required, provision available for continuing and further training for the acquisition of the familiarity with the extraordinary form of the Rite and for the acquisition of the necessary understanding of the Latin language.

The Parish Priest and/or Rector of a Church is not obliged, even if he possesses the suitability, to celebrate the Missale Romanum 1962. If he believes because of official burdens or for personal reasons that he is unable to meet the wishes of the Faithful, he should turn to the Diocesan bishop. The right of the Faithful in this matter (Summorum Pontificum Article 7) remains unaffected .

The Calendar and order of readings of the Missale Romanum 1962 should be used for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form 1962. Attention should be given to the already announced extensions after a period of time of the Calender through the Ecclesia Dei Commission..

For the reading of the readings in the vernacular (see Summorum Pontificum Article 6) the Perikopes are to be extracted from the recognised lectionary of the Missal for the Dioceses of the German speaking areas of 1988. Alternatively, the Schott of 1962 can be used.

The German Bishops will for now make no use of the right to establish personal parishes (Summorum Pontificum Article 10) for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

As the basis the report envisaged after three years over the experiences with the regulations of the Motu Proprio (see Accompanying Letter of Pope Benedict XVI.) the Parish Priest and/or the Rector, if he gives permission for the Mass celebration in the extraordinary form in his Parish and/or Church must make a report to the Diocesan Bishop.

Parish Priests and Rectors, in whose Parishes and/or Churches Mass celebrations in the extraordinary form take place, must inform the Diocesan Bishops on a continuous basis about any development.


  1. Anonymous1:58 PM

    The German people need the prayers of all the peoples of Europe. May God in His Great Mercy be kind to them!

  2. This is really sad. But, we know how the story ends..."Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever. Amen!" We just need the faith and to unite our prayers with the faithful in Germany to get through this.

    St. Konrad, pray for the Church of Christ, Catholic in Germany, and for all of us!

  3. Anonymous3:06 PM

    I think the German Catholic Bishops (people like Cardinals Lehmann and Kasper etc.) would rather be closer in forms, ceremonies, and belief to the German Lutherans, than to Roman Catholicism.
    Hence the restrictive hostility of their directives towards the Tridentine Latin Mass.

  4. Anonymous3:50 PM

    "The possibility for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form must be carried forward under the leadership of the Bishop ..."

    There is no reason to read any futher beyond that clear declaration of disobedience in the very first paragraph.

    Cardinals Lehmann and Kasper are enemies of Holy Mother Church, plain and simple.

  5. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Does the Holy Father intend to allow this outrageous affront to his authority?

  6. Mention is so often made of the necessity of accepting the Novus Ordo as some sort of condition for then getting access to the usus antiquior. However, the reverse should also now be made: acceptance on behalf of the bishops and priests of the usus antiquior and this should be demonstrated as well. As usual, the cloth only cuts one way.

  7. "9. Vom Recht zur Errichtung von Personalpfarreien für die Feier in der außerordentlichen Form des römischen Ritus (Summorum Pontificum Art. 10) werden die deutschen Diözesanbischöfe bis auf weiteres keinen Gebrauch machen."

    should be translated:

    "The German Bishops will for now make no use of the right to establish personal parishes for celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

  8. "9. Vom Recht zur Errichtung von Personalpfarreien für die Feier in der außerordentlichen Form des römischen Ritus (Summorum Pontificum Art. 10) werden die deutschen Diözesanbischöfe bis auf weiteres keinen Gebrauch machen."

    should be translated:

    "The German Bishops will for now make no use of the right to establish personal parishes for celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

    Indeed and this is the end.
    As I wrote before, the genuine implementation of SP is to be judged on the creation of personal parishes.
    Plus the private use of the 1962 missal by priests but this is extremely difficult to determine and evaluate.

    GermChurch is corrupted to the bone ... and dying slowly by the way.
    But so far, neither with Germany nor France, pope Benedict XVI has done anything to stop this fatal issue. On the contrary, adding more rotten apples to the pile of rotten mitres.

  9. Anonymous4:53 PM

    The Pope has expected this as a possible outcome. For that reason there is a formal process. The setting up of personal parishes is not under the authority of Bishops. Groups of faithful need to simply carry out the procedures without any rancour. Tick the boxes and move on to the next stage. Or have I misread SP?

  10. Anonymous4:53 PM

    After the French bishops I think the German bishops as a whole are in fear and (for some) loathing of the Motu Proprio. One German bishop, Bishop Wanke was concerned about division in a parish if the usus antiquior became the majority of the parishioners of that parish. His concern was that this should not happen. Amazing. Of course in our country we have pockets of fear and (for some) loathing.

  11. Thank you William. Apologies, I was on my way to a business meeting!

  12. Anonymous5:54 PM

    And its Traditionalists who they accuse of disobedience and schism from Rome! Of usurping jurisdiction and impeding Papal decrees!

    Of acting out of harmony with the Church!

    Of picking and choosing at will!

    The German Bishops decree has only one meaning to Catholics in Germany:

    We are free to act as we will, since we have no Bishops in communion with Rome!

  13. OK. First the disclaimer, I am Orthodox, so I am an outsider looking in. That said I and many of us on this side of the Bosporus are sympathetic to the traditional Roman Liturgy.

    With the above noted, I really think you are overreacting to this. I just don't see anything in here that is that onerous. Some of the complaints make it sound like the older liturgy is being banned. The rules being imposed by the German bishops don't appear unreasonable to me.

    They want to know whats going on their diocese. Any bishop who doesn't want that should turn in his miter and start looking for a different job. They want to be sure the priest knows knows how to celebrate the older form correctly and has enough Latin to do so. They avoided identifying any preset number of people required to request the older Mass. They reiterate the requirement to stick to the rite being used and not to mix and match, and so on.

    Reading the comments I have to ask specifically what are you complaining about? It strikes me that there are some people on this thread who are maybe just looking for an excuse to vent and will grasp at straws if necessary for that excuse. The lack of agape and charity has been quite shocking.


  14. Anonymous1:06 AM

    It will be interesting to see what kind of teeth Ecclesia Dei will get once these things pour into that office.

  15. Anonymous4:16 AM

    "The possibility for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form must be carried forward under the leadership of the Bishop ..."

    Lehmann allows and promotes all manner of liturgical abuse in the Novus Ordo Mass, but when it comes to the liberation of the Traditional Mass, ah, now we must keep a watchful eye! Now we must be vigilant! Great care must be taken not to cause tension or division in the Church!

    Please. What a hypocrite.

  16. The tragedy of this cardinal, like many of his confreres, is adequately illustrated by his active participation in buffoonish Bugnini services and in propagating every form of litugically illicit demeanour. It is all there in the public domain as a living testimony to "dry bones" postmodernist catholicism. Much more stark than such de facto schismatic behaviour is the collegial helplessness of the church authorities in greeting open rebellion with silent inertia. It invokes Pope St Felix III's admirable caution on silent complicity & its consequences. The Rhine certainly does flow into the Tiber as the respective episcopates exemplify in latter times.

    We will all soon be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's (RIP) perfect diagnosis of the contemporary environment amongst the hierarchy of the post-conciliar establishment. On 13th October 1977 he noted - "The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church."

    Sister Lucia, Cardinal Ciappi and several other reliable witnesses have corroborated his findings. As one of the more noteworthy facilitators of this woeful demise and the rapidly creeping cancer of un-Catholic pastoral & liturgical norms and values, his analysis can be objectively sustained throughout as the visible postmodern church demolishes itself.

    How could it be that any genuinely traditional Roman Catholic would wish to be associated with this genre of irreverent decadance, through complicity, in accepting inappropriate liturgical forms, by implication.

    As Our Blessed Lord admonishes us, blindness can have extremely unfortunate confrontations with gravitational forces.

  17. Anonymous10:13 AM

    To John of the Orthodox,

    Well to understand what the German Bishops are doing, you'd have to understand first the heresies and errors behind the Novus Ordo; it is not just another liturgy, it is based on the false idea that by enacting a liturgy you force God to be present, irrespective of the Sacraments, and thus can use Christ's salvific power at will, irrespective of your worthiness or obedience to Him.

    The NO is superstitious and idolatrous, but most do not understand this or intend this when attending it; nevertheless it has its effects, as the most diabolic individuals claiming to be "Roman Catholics" vaunt it.

    As for agape and charity, I suggest you return to communion with Rome, since there is no charity outside of communion with Christ's Vicar on Earth.

  18. The German Excellencies Corp. Leitlinien are not "collegialiy" , they are rather a... "cartel : a formal (explicit) agreement among firms. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there are a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products. Cartel members may agree on such matters as price fixing, total industry output, market shares, allocation of customers, allocation of territories, bid rigging, establishment of common sales agencies, and the division of profits or combination of these. The aim of such collusion is to increase individual member's profits by reducing competition. Competition laws forbid cartels. Identifying and breaking up cartels is an important part of the competition policy in most countries, although proving the existence of a cartel is rarely easy, as firms are usually not so careless as to put agreements to collude on paper. [Wikipedia]"

  19. Anonymous12:37 PM




  20. Orthodox John;
    If the German Bishops had come up with this statement on the TLM 5 years ago, it would have been heralded as a landmark event, a miraculous change of heart! However, Summorum Pontificum has already put in place a much less restrictive situation, and as such, the German Bishops are again imposing their own guidelines that are more restrictive. SP clearly takes the Bishop out of the "permission loop" as it were, and so to state "The possibility for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form must be carried forward under the leadership of the Bishop" is contradictory not only to one part of Summorum, but to the entire basis of the document, which sets up a new situation where "The possibility for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form can now be carried forward under the leadership of Pastors and individual Priests." That is the problem that we have with this statement.

  21. Anonymous,
    I am honored that someone of your standing would deign to reply to me. Although you chose to remain anonymous you must indeed be someone of extraordinary position within your religious confession. For you have proclaimed the normative liturgy of the Latin Church to be heresy and by implication pronounced the last several Pope's to be heretics. Surely no mere layman would dare such impudence to the See of Peter. Of course I happen to agree with that but for different reasons and I would go back about a thousand years not the last forty, but I digress.

    I am of course Orthodox and make no claim to being a papal Christian. You on the other hand seem to believe you are one. Which brings me to a question. How do yo square your judgment of the Roman Church's hierarchy and its Pope with the decrees of Vatican I which place the Pope above the judgment of men. This is also expressly confirmed in the Code of Canon Law. Or are you a sede-vacantist? You certainly sound like one. Perhaps you are the real Pope while the impostor sits in Rome?

    I also can not even begin to express my sadness at your announcement that there is neither love nor charity for those outside of your confession. And in that vain I thank God I am Orthodox. Although the sentiment is clearly not reciprocated please be assured of both my love and prayers for you.


  22. Chironomo,
    Thank you for your reply. While I still think that most of the posters here are overreacting, from your POV I can see the logic. You seem to desire any control over the liturgy by the local bishop to be stripped away. This is of course in keeping with the ultramontane views typical of most traditionalist RCs except of course when they are accusing the Pope of promulgating a heretical liturgy as your co-religionist above was.

    I suspect my discomfort stems from belonging to a religious confession with more than one real bishop. But then again any bishop who tried to fiddle with the liturgy on a large scale over here would soon be minus his miter.


  23. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Dear John of the "Orthodox"

    Since you have rejected the revealed doctrines of papal infallibility and papal supremacy, as well as Roman indefectibility, I can understand why you cannot comprehend a problem with episcopal schims, since all your bishops are in schism from Jesus Christ's Vicar on Earth.

    Therefore, I cannot explain it, unless you are willing to submit your intellect to faith; othewise I would be throwing pearls to swine, because carnal men like you cannot comprehend the revelations of God, without the humility of repentence and the obedience of faith.

    That is what what you see through the distorted mirror of your mind, appears distorted.

    And thus, your false attribution of the term "sede-vacantist" is a mere hypocritical evasion.

    H.H. Benedict XVI is the Vicar of Christ on earth.


    A Catholic, praying for your soul

  24. Anonymous8:47 AM

    The German Bishops know their former colleague Benedict very well, and their reception of his MP, followed by the Polish bishops, is a responsible exercise of their collegial authority. If there is a real demand for the TLM and if a number of stable groups can claim that the German bishops are not meeting that demand, they can have recourse to the Ecclesia Dei committee in Rome. I think the Ecclesia Dei body will find that the bulk of the suffering that the MP can cause will rebound on them, as they deal with one tiny group of zealots after another -- none of whom have any substantial knowledge of ecclesiastical Latin...


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