Rorate Caeli

The Instruction - II
Ghettoization must start in Ordination

Very few points of the current draft of the Instruction for the Application of Summorum Pontificum seem to be  available to us. The first we mentioned, on blocking the application of the liberality of the motu proprio to all non-Roman Western rites and uses may seem minor - yet it is quite significant in what it reveals: an interpretation of the rights recognized by Summorum as privileges or "indults" that can be curtailed.

Our revelation today, made jointly with Messa in Latino, could seem even more limited in its extension - but it certainly is much, much, more serious and insidious in the extent it shows that the anti-Summorum field has infiltrated the composition of the Instruction. In short, the Instruction, in its current draft, will explicitly prevent Bishops from using the Traditional Rite of Holy Orders.

There will be two exceptions. One, dedicated to the those institutes (the 'Ecclesia Dei' institutes) and particular Churches dedicated exclusively to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The other exception is that the Bishop that desires to ordain a certain seminarian in the ancient Rite will have to ask prior permission to Rome (to the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'), which will then evaluate if said permission should be granted or not.

While the motu proprio is unclear on the use of the Traditional liturgical rites of the Roman Pontifical for Holy Orders (Baptism, Matrimony, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Confirmation are expressly mentioned in art. 9, and the Holy Eucharist throughout the text), this is no loophole. While it might make sense to clarify some points regarding other Sacraments, as directed by the "Pastor" (art. 9 § 1), it would obviously be unnecessary to "allow" these same Pastors to do what they can always do: ordain priests of the Roman Rite using the books of the Roman Rite, including the rite of Holy Orders that was used in the Latin Church for well over a millennium.

What is to be achieved by this odious restrictive interpretation? Why should Bishops be forbidden to choose with which Rite to ordain their own deacons and priests? Since the advent of Summorum, in a few privileged places, Bishops have furthered the establishment of a biritual mentality in their seminaries, and have indeed celebrated Holy Orders in the Extraordinary Form; it seems clear that, if a Bishop so desires, for an unlimited number of pastoral and spiritual reasons, he should be able to do so freely.

The intention is, among others, to ghettoize the Traditional Rite of this most pivotal of all Sacraments, Holy Orders; and, further, to identify "problematic" Bishops and future priests, with all consequences that could entail (including for their careers). It is an alarming sign that the thrust of the Instruction is once again to make, even in law, all Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite or those who merely appreciate it (and, in this case, even Bishops and poor hopeful seminarians) second-class Catholics.
As a note, the current draft of the Instruction bears indeed the date of Feb. 22. This date is, naturally and as it is common with many Roman documents, symbolic and fictitious- in the sense that alterations may take place between the date indicated in the text and its publication.

Update, and for the record:

Since we always wish our readers to know all sides in all matters mentioned by us, we leave you with a partial confirmation (and partial denial) of the Instruction, by Andrea Tornielli (in Italian, confirming both our bits of information, but trying to paint the overall aspect of the Instruction as positive, as a reinforcement of Summorum Pontificum).

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