Rorate Caeli

4 years on:
Extraordinary liabilities...

It is our duty to re-post this, by Father M. Brown:

Reports reach the Forest now and again about bishops and vocations directors quizzing seminarians about their interest in the Extraordinary Form. This could be a good thing: they might be ensuring that seminarians are at one with the mind of the Church about the Extraordinary Form which Universae Ecclesiae told us a few months ago:

6. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII, are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria: they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honour.

Thus if bishops and vocations directors are expressing any concern regarding the Extraordinary Form and seminarians it would, one would think, be to ensure that all seminarians are at home in both forms of the Roman Rite and most importantly are taught how to celebrate and to love the EF.

Sadly this is not what one hears. Instead seminarians are quizzed about their interest in the Extraordinary Form in such a way as to make clear to them that any interest would be considered a problem and as they used to say in my time, `a formation issue`. This is outrageous given developments in recent years. Eventually this will change but until then it is sad that people who are only following the directives of the Holy See are made to suffer.


  1. And this is even true of too many of the "conservative" bishops of recent appointment, and rectors of their own choosing.

    Often too young to have been ordained to celebrate the traditional mass, it is alien to them, an arcane item with appeal to a noisy few and little evangelical power. Worse, it is seen as being at grave risk, as my own ordinary has been heard to say, of creating "two churches" - i.e., it is "divisive." So they give lip service to avoid the gaze of the CDF, but in practice make as little accommodation to the TLM as possible, hoping that the next pontiff will make it a dead letter. A new ordinary at a major midwestern see, succeeding a more tradition-friendly bishop, has effectively ended TLM instruction at his seminary and requires now that any seminarian even wishing to attend a TLM must receive permission first. And so it goes.

    And yet for all the interrogations and screening of seminarians, anyone who has interaction with any significant number of them today knows that the interest is bountiful now. If rectors were to clean out their seminary of any seminarians even suspected of even modest traditional tastes, they might have to lose most of their seminarians. So they look to eject the most intense, and hope the rest can be weaned off it.

    But in the long run, it's a losing game for them.

  2. InnocentIII2:43 PM

    Athelstane, your post makes me wish for a separate apostolic administration for all of us who love Tradition, so that we can thrive under traditional bishops (even if there are only a handful) and the whole Novus Ordo establishment can wither and die. I don't want to share buildings with these characters, nor give them a dime of my money, because I'm not even convinced we share the same Faith.

    I normally try to be more balanced than this, but look at what we're up against.

  3. Anonymous3:18 PM

    In our diocese, a pretty conservative one, the only TLM is an 8:00 am at a parish downtown. It's not really a family-friendly location or time. If you have to take little ones out, then you are basically outside, which doesn't work in snow or rain. I wish we could get a TLM parish and/or the FSSP here, but I'm not holding my breath. I get the impression that priests and seminarians have to learn and perform the TLM under the radar. How do bishops and priests except obedience from their flock, when they themselves aren't obedient (e.g., by promoting the use of the EF, using sacred vs. profane music, etc.)? I want to raise my kids to be Catholic, and the lack of reverence and respect at the typical NO parish won't cut it.

  4. Hans Coessens3:31 PM

    I experienced a case where the Bishop saw that the words of Universae Ecclesiae were "too soft" on the Old Rite and therefore he decided that the seminary of his diocese would NOT instruct it at all to seminarians. The professors were getting prepared to teach it finally, only to know that the bishop would say that Universae Ecclesiae does not force it. This is the world we live in...

  5. If there is a regularisation of the SSPX perhaps diocesan bishops will encourage their clergy who favour the EF to join the Society and wash their hands of the 'problem'?

  6. "...are two forms of the Roman Liturgy"

    They are also two distinct Rites - even children can see this. They are based on different paradigms.

  7. A disgrace! Thankfully the shortage of priests means dioceses are generally (with a lot of exceptions) not as selective now as what they used to be.

  8. Brian6:02 PM

    The Traditional Mass is seen as being at grave risk, as my own ordinary has been heard to say, of creating "two churches" - i.e., it is "divisive."

    Therefore they suppress it . . . thereby creating two churches where some of us are forced to drive two hours to Mass each Sunday.

    Then if we show any sign of being anything other than obsequiously grateful, they castigate us for being divisive, schismatic, "rad trads."

  9. Anonymous6:26 PM

    @ Brian,

    You're correct. And you can even be accused by NO conservatives of being ungrateful. The bishops that obey the Pope to freely allow the TLM are just doing their job, nothing else.

  10. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Shane, many bishops and formation directors are still as arrogant and as selective as ever. I believe that many bishops would rather close their seminaries than allow their seminarians to learn how to celebrate the TLM.

  11. Brian Said

    Worse still in many overseas situations the NO divides ethnic communities lingusitically. For example, in Malaysia there are separate NO services for Malays, Philippinos, Indians, Chinese, English-speakers and so on. This is living evidence of the divisiveness of the NO. Latin used to bring the entire Latin Rite Church together liturgically. The NO has destroyed that unity.

  12. Gratias7:19 PM

    We have to secure more EF Masses in Diocesan locations. The FSSP and a regularized FSSPX are only a part of the solution. The main thing we can do is to attend the TLM as often as we can and donate as much as possible. A poster here explained today how he drives 100 miles for the Mass of the Ages. Bravo!

    We drive less, but it still takes mist of Sunday, but it is well worth the effort. For Easter we rent a hotel room for two nights and attend the entire Tridiuum.

    I have also written stacks of letters to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles but no changes indicating obedience to the Pope orders have taken place so far. But our situation all across America is getting better. Look at the list of Bishops that have offered the EF Mass in Accionliturgica (sp) and will see that the USA has by far the most. The battle to take back our Church will be won here before it spreads to other countries.

  13. Anonymous8:42 PM

    It is a common policy in Europe, in particular in France. Until very recently, it was a very strict policy enforced at the French seminary in Rome.

    Being seen at a TLM could be a reason to be chucked out, wearing a cassock considered a crime etc.

    Pope Benedict XVI and the Motu proprio have not changed anything, on the contrary. The more Rome is benevolent to Tradition, the more the hunt to trad-minded seminarians is increasing.
    With the too often disastrous episcopal nominations in Western Europe, this pitiful situation won't improve soon.
    It is certainly one cause of the vocation crisis we encounter.


  14. Anonymous12:45 AM

    From my experience in seminary and as a priest, Rome does not give a toss about supporting priests and seminarians who are trying to be faithful never mind those who love the EF. Here in Ireland our bishops have defied Rome and now fighting the reform Rome is trying to bring to the ruins of the Church here and they are winning - Rome is letting them away with murder. The EF is dirt here and so too those who reveal the antics of abusing priests. So many good, orthodox seminarians have been dropped because they reported to the bishops and authorities what these abusers have done. So the matter is not just the EF, it is mainstream Catholicism. Rome is afraid to take on erring bishops (it took 15 years to get rid of the Australian bishop - and what damage he did in those 15 years). So for all his talk, Benedict is powerless.

  15. DefensorFidei1:18 AM

    "I don't want to share buildings with these characters, nor give them a dime of my money, because I'm not even convinced we share the same Faith."

    Then why be under the same head -- that is, the Pope -- as they are? Can the same person head two different faiths?

  16. DefensorFidei1:26 AM

    "A disgrace! Thankfully the shortage of priests means dioceses are generally (with a lot of exceptions) not as selective now as what they used to be."

    The shortage of priests is getting worse by the year in the West and will greatly worsen from c. 2015 onwards.

    In a situation like that, the average priest is and will be forced to do more and more, and this can (and already does) result in priests who want to offer the TLM not being able to do so except on rare occasions. Asking them to offer TLM even for NO congregations may seem to be the ideal solution, but that will certainly result in these priests being punished or forced out by their bishops.

    In the long run, only a P.A.A is the solution.

  17. DefensorFidei2:35 AM

    A P.A.A, however, must not be treated by Traditionalists as a sort of "Church-within-a-Church", or even as a "Traditional Church by the side of NewChurch".

    It should instead be an ark for the traditional Roman Rite, a refuge for those Latin Catholics who only want the full Roman tradition, a fortress from which apologists will attack heresy, a beacon from which the light of traditional Catholicism will continue to shine until that great and blessed day when the Roman Catholic Church as a whole comes back to Tradition.

    The P.A.A. existence should be provisional; it's job should be to eventually go out of work.

  18. Anonymous4:07 AM

    If our pastors are so concerned about a "two church" mentality, then would not the best solution be to encourage a TLM in every parish? Liturgical Jim Crow and ruthlessly weeding out Tradition friendly seminarians seems like the very worst thing to do if they're worried about divisiveness.

  19. "Benedict is powerless..."

    Thank you for that. It should be obvious to anyone who has read & understood properly all the destructive changes of the 1960s that the papacy no longer has much authority. This has been diluted primarily by the reorganisation of the Holy See and by episcopal collegiality. To expect much that is truly traditional to come from a pope who is essentially liberal modernist & supported those policies in the first place is completely astounding.
    Furthermore, many bishops [difficult to quantify at present] are moving into positions of virtual open schism with the church on several issues. John Paul II (RIP) tried to avoid this by retreating on some issues affecting traditional Catholics and by turning his eyes the other way on other matters boding ill for the future of the church. However, the fundamental issues of liturgy and governance will not go away. The councils were divisive by their very nature once the liberals condemned to the waste bin most of the preparatory work completed under Pope John XXIII and once they had seized control of the conciliar agenda. Papal power was one of their proposed "bastions" for razing alongside many others.

  20. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Perhaps the comments to seminary rectors and others made last November by this media cleric are having the affect he intended...

  21. Gratias4:59 PM

    My proposed solution to prevent Traditionalist persecutions is to quiz the candidates for bishop before they are appointed by the Holy Father. One simple question: Have you ever offered Mass in the forma extraordinaria? If not, the candidate does not master the entire Liturgy of the Catholic Church and should not be eigible to lead all faithful due to lack of theological knowledge. If this happened one would rapidly see the EF offered side by side to the Novus Ordo Missae in our parishes as is the Holy Father's wish. This proposal is a simple way to effect the reform of the reform.

    But not everything is bleak for traditionalists. Although the situation in Latin America, Africa and Asia is terrible, here in the USA we leading the world in bringing back the Traditional Latin Mass.

    As listed in AccionLiturgica, there are currently 239 bishops throughout the world that have actually offered the TLM. Of these, 60 are from the USA, and listed below.

    Cardinals: Baum, Burke, Egan, Foley, George, Levada, and O'Malley.
    Archbishops: Burnett, Carlson, Di Noia, Hughes, Kevin, Myers, Nienstaedt, Pilarczyk and Vigneron.
    Bishops: Boyea, Bevard, Blair, Bruskewitz, Burbidge, Callahan, Conley, Cordileone, Corrada, D'Arcy, Daniels, Dewane, Di Lorenzo, Doran, Etienne, Farrell, Finn, Foley, Garcia, Hermann, Hurley, Keleher, Kicanas, Madera Uribe, Matano, McFadden, McManus, Morlino, Murphy, Nevares, Olmsted Perry, Provost, Reiss, Rhoades, Ricken, Sample, Serratelli, Silva, Slattery, Timlin, Tobin, Watershied and Van Johnston.

    If you come in contact with any of these pastors in your Diocese please kiss their ring for the rest of us. These prelates should be more amenable to Diocesan TLM petitions. Four years in, Summorum Pontificum is making a difference.

    Deo Gratias for Benedict XVI. Pray he may enjoy a long life.

  22. My present 'conservative' Archbishop admits he is no fan of the EF but he established the FSSP in a parish so that those in the metro area have access to it. But I am 75 miles away...

    I am longing for a greater access to the TLM. If things are normalized with the SSPX, then I will go to one that is near.

    Sunday Masses in the OF are the most difficult with the bad songs and all the noise. People were chatting about mundane things all around me before Mass and then the noise level erupted when Mass was over. The songs were terrible and I did not sing them. And I longed for the reverence and quiet of a TLM. The way the women dress at the OF! Oh, my. It was terrible even at an early Mass today. You will not see this lack of decorum at the EF.

  23. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Cincinnati's vocation director celebrates the EF.

  24. Anonymous11:16 PM

    I'm quite interested by something Athelstane touched upon: what will happen regarding the Motu Proprio when the current pope dies and a successor is elected? What if the new pope opposes Benedict's reforms and once more adopts the progressive way full throttle?

  25. John L1:51 AM

    Benedict is powerless?

    It is now extremely hard to discipline bishops because they have been allowed to get away with murder for so long. But the pope still appoints bishops, and that is an enormous source of power - which, as Alsaticus points out, has not been used properly. The pope has achieved something since he was elected; he has advanced the cause of the old liturgy considerably, without provoking major conflicts with any bishops' conference. At a guess, this was his goal, and this explains his failure to consistently appoint good bishops - he has decided to preserve a balance in episcopal appointments between different factions in the Church, thus dissuading the dominant (anti-Catholic) faction from open rebellion while he pursues a revival of the liturgy. This strategy has produced some results; we are a long way liturgically from where we were before his election. But it is incompatible with his duty to govern the Church and provide for the souls of the faithful. It will end in tears, as Alsaticus has been observing for some time.

    I am glad to see Alsaticus returned to the blog, by the way!

  26. Anonymous4:16 AM

    I must question the accuracy of the list of U.S. bishops who have offered the TLM. Bishop Blair of Toledo, Ohio has only celebrated Confirmation in the traditional rite (twice). He has NOT celebrated the TLM, and although there are rumors that he is interested in doing so, I cannot imagine it happening any time soon.

  27. "I must question the accuracy of the list of U.S. bishops who have offered the TLM."

    The original list in Una Voce Malaga / Accion Liturgica states "a 239 los Cardenales y Obipos que han participado en actos litúrgicos con la Forma Extraordinaria del Rito Romano". "Actos liturgicos" is a broad category that would include Confirmations, Benedictions, celebrations of the Te Deum, funerals, Vespers etc. according to the liturgical books in force in 1962. Any bishop who has so much as attended any such event is listed among the 239, and a number of these bishops are by no means "friends" of the TLM. (Cases in point: the Archbishops Conti, Di Noia, Le Gall and Vingt-Trois and the Bishops Aumonier and Magee.) Conversely, there are bishops who have either not celebrated or assisted at any liturgical act according to the "extraordinary" books, or have done so only once or twice, and yet have been supportive of those who want the TLM.

    More interesting would be a list of non-retired bishops who 1) offer or assist at a Traditional Latin Mass MORE THAN once a year on average, and 2) who actively support or promote at least some of the goals of the Traditional movement. My partial list is the following:

    Roman Curia - Cardinals Burke and Canizares-Llovera

    Brazil - Guimaraes, Rifan (naturally)

    Denmark -- Bishop Kozon

    France -- Bishops Dominique Rey and Marc Aillet

    Italy -- Bishop Oliveri

    Liechtenstein -- Archbishop Haas

    Kazakhstan -- Bishop Schneider

    Philippines - Bishop Gregorio

    USA -- Bishops Boyea, Bruskewitz, Cordileone, Dewane, Doran, Finn, Morlino, Perry, Sample, Slattery.

    Please add those you think should be part of this list.

  28. Gratias4:01 PM

    Yesterday at my forma ordinaria parish the very first intercession prayed that "the Church continue the path of the Vatican Council" or something to that effect. I was stunned. It means that the reformationists are by no means giving up, and that the battle of VC2 will have to be argued again and again.

    It seems to me useful to name the names of those bishops that have obeyed Benedict XVI at least to some degree. There are other thousands who have done nothing at all to obey Summorum Pontificum. Deo Gratias for the 239 that did.

  29. Anonymous6:28 PM

    About six months ago or so I visited with the vocations director of my parish (southern US). I think God was calling me as a younger man but I was too wrapped up the world to listen. I'm a post Vatican II person but am in my forties so I'm too old to be FSSP or ICK so I looked into being a diocesan Priest. I was very candid with the vocations director about my love for tradition and how the TLM played such a critical role in grabbing me back out of the world and into Holy Mother Church. I haven't heard from them since that meeting.


  30. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Perhaps inquire with Br. Bugnolo of the Franciscan Archive, he is charged with a traditional Franciscan monastery and does not discriminate because of age - due to the confusion of V2.

    There should be a link on this blog site but google brings it up quickly also.

    God bless,
    A Franciscan

  31. Anonymous8:39 PM

    Do as I say and not as I do doesn't cut it. Not even for the Holy Father. Total the time he participated in any religious service and compare it to the time he has participated in the E.F. (that he chose to define). The answer is always some large number versu zero. We have seen the results of his decision and it will not get better until he starts offering it.

    A.M. LaPietra

  32. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I know of one diocese where the bishop has told his seminarians that they are not to atten the TLM and that if they are interested in saying the TLM as priests they are not called to the dioscean priesthood and should join the FSSP.

    Even though I prefer the new Mass (said according to the rubrics and with reverence), I think this attitude is horrendous. All approved rites (i.e. TLM, Novus Ordo, Byzantine, Carthusian, Dominican, Anglican-Use etc.) of the Catholic Church should be respected and, where lawful, encouraged!

  33. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Sad but true. We are in a diocese that has reluctantly offered the Latin Mass about 5 hours from our parish. One the reasons we never got one here is that "no one knows how to say it".

    Finally we were assigned a new Parochial Vicor who loves the Latin Mass. He was told by the new Pastor that no one was interested and he must not say it publicly. We informed our new Pastor with a respectful petition that we were interested. He countered that he would not be making any changes for the first year. A month later the new Vicor was transferred out of the parish after only 3 months even though the people in the parish truly loved him because he was so inspiring.

    So much for not making any changes in the first year.


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