Rorate Caeli

The Commentary of Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro on Universae Ecclesiae

(For the background to this post, see this article: Luc Perrin on Catholic Traditionalism in France.)

The first part of the address touches upon an issue that is rarely addressed in a formal manner:
There has been some concern on the name used to call the older liturgy. In these documents it is called Extraordinary Form and also “Antiquior Usus” (the “more ancient use”). Some commentators have pointed out that the name “extraordinary” is pejorative. If we read objectively both the Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction there is no way that this concern can be proven. But nevertheless it can be stated that the term “extraordinary” places the traditional rite in a certain condition of inferiority with regards to the ordinary form, because this denomination seems to underlines that the “normal” form is the missal of Paul VI, so it might be prudent to use a different name. This perceived inferiority can injure the legal equivalency as proclaimed in art. 6th of the Instruction. The documents refer also to the traditional rite as the “Antiquior Usus” (the “more ancient use”) so we could use that name more frequently. But even “Antiquior Usus” as a denomination has the limitations that it could be construed as somewhat like an object taken from a museum, so we should explore options to find an appropriate denomination. One possibility is to call it the Latin-Gregorian Liturgy as it has been denominated in the inform (sic) of the Ecclesia Dei Commission published in the report “The Activities of the Holy See 2010”. 

Photo: Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro in cope. Source: Orbis Catholicus


Timothy Mulligan said...

How about -- now get this -- "the traditional Mass"? In other words, the Mass that was handed down to us. Catchy, isn't it?

Matthew said...

Similar to how the Byzantine Divine Liturgies go by the names of "The Litury of St. John Chrysostrom," "The Liturgy of St. Basil," and "The Liturgy of St. James," why not call it "The Liturgy of St. Gregory" or the "Mass of St. Gregory"?

Joe B said...

I think we should rather rename the ordinary form. Alternatives seem to come to mind rather quickly for that one.

New Catholic said...

The Roman Mess?

Bill M said...

"Amen", New Catholic!!!!

New Catholic said...

I really see no problem whatsoever with "ordinary" and "extraordinary"; in fact, I do not believe it is a problem at all, no wonder it has rarely been addressed in a formal way... In several European languages, "ordinary" has a negative connotation, as something that is not only common, but that can be disregarded precisely because it is common, i.e., ordinary, while "extraordinary" is almost always viewed in a positive way. So, we should feel no inferiority at all regarding these names, when they are used.

As for Ehn-tee-kwee-ohr, there is simply no reason whatsoever to use it: it is one thing to have an extraordinary rite, it is quite another to have a name that is extraordinarily difficult to be understood and pronounced by those who are not used to it in different languages and settings...


And when they are not used, we should just stick with traditional usage: Traditional. That is its nature, and that is why we love it, it was not made up, it is not artificial, it reached us from immemorial times: it is "Traditional".

Jitpring said...

The ordinary/extraordinary terminology is meant to keep the traditional Mass marginalized. We're to understand that the vandalized Mass is to remain the norm.

David Werling said...

I really don't have a problem with ordinary/extraordinary, but there's a reason for this... Please indulge me a little story.

Here in South Bend we had a beloved diocesan priest who offered the TLM in the days before SP on Sundays and all holy days of obligation. However, he was transferred at the very same time SP was promulgated. (Mere coincidence? hmmm...)

Regardless, we took our stand with SP in hand, and the bishop assigned a retired Holy Cross priest to offer the TLM for us. The new pastor of this church was a late vocation, extremely liberal... you know? the kind of priest who rushes through the usual Sunday Masses in the morning, but relishes getting into a good rock n' roll teen Mass on Sunday night.

Well, he didn't much care for us "Latin Massers", he had been heard calling us to "ordinary" parishioners. That year Fr. George Gabet, who was the district superior of the FSSP at the time, heard that the Holy Cross priest assigned to offer the TLM for us wouldn't be able to offer the TLM on Christmas day, so he called Fr. TeenMasser and asked if he could come up on Christmas morning and offer the TLM for us "Latin Massers". He was going to be home for the holidays anyway (Fort Wayne).

Fr. TeenMasser said: "No! Absolutely not!"

Well, up to this point I had been on pretty even terms with Fr. TeenMasser, so I called him up, and asked him why he wouldn't allow Fr. Gabet to offer Christmas Mass for us.

"Well," said Fr. TeenMasser, "I really don't care for you Latin Mass people."

"Huh?" I was incredulous.

"Yeah," he stated.

"I don't understand," I said. "What have we done to you other than come to church every Sunday and put an offering in your collection basket?"

"I don't like how you people think you are better than everybody else," he stated flatly.

Now some of us "Latin Massers" can be kind of abrasive when dealing with pinheads (forgive me Lord for saying this about one of Your priests) like Fr. TeenMasser. However, I thought that we had kept those some isolated as much as possible from Fr. TeenMasser, so I was curious.

"What in the world would give you that impression?" I asked.

"Well," said Fr. TeenMasser. "It's because you call that Mass of yours 'Extraordinary', like my Mass is just 'ordinary'. How dare you?!"

I started laughing. "Well, sir," I replied. "Perhaps you should take that up with pope." And then I hung up.

Nope, nothing wrong with calling it Extraordinary. Nothing wrong with it at all!

M. A. said...

"Traditional. That is its nature, and that is why we love it,"


I once took great pains and a lot of time to make a beautiful flyer to announce a Traditional Latin Mass at my former parish. It was rejected on the grounds that "traditional" was not an acceptable. The reason? 'Traditional' was a "loaded" word.

The pastor's suggestion: "Tridentine Latin Mass." :-)

Some people are too funny. I believe that is what he thought TLM meant.

I just call it the TLM. I don't like people playing word games and I feel that calling it the EF is just that.

ka said...

How about the NO being called "the very ordinary form"?

Gratias said...

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula is a great spokesman for Tradition. I interpret what he was saying in this lawyerly conference is that Popes JP2 and B16 have together given us the legal basis to bring back the Traditional Mass. Universae Ecclesiae was very good legislation, we will have to build the liturgy using the tools that were granted us.

Thank you Rorate for helping propagate this document by one of our dedicated leaders.

P.K.T.P. said...


Just a brief note to begin: I have admired analyses of Fr. Barreiro in the past and have recommended his words to others. He was right in his argument that Altar girls were forbidden in the Latin Mass. Many others, including a certain Fr. Zuhlsdorf, were proved wrong on that issue.

On the "Presentation" part, I would like to add a word or two about the situation in France. Fr. Barreiro says quite correctly that, since publication of "Summorum Pontificum", 103 new Traditional Latin Masses have been approved in France. Many of these, however, are not every-Sunday Masses; in fact, most are not.

He says that five French dioceses and one archdiocese still have no approved T.L.M.s. This is also true. However, he fails to mention the fact that fully fourteen French dioceses do not have even one T.L.M. on the every-Sunday basis, which is the basis required of faithful by Holy Mother Church. Fourteen out of ninety-three dioceses in France equals about 15%. That is a large proportion. Moreover, as Professor Luc Perrin has pointed out before, there are currently about FIVE HUNDRED unsatisfied petitions in France for Latin Masses.

Fr. Barreiro mentions 103 new Masses since July of 2007. But he fails to mention that, in that period of four years, ONLY TWO French dioceses (viz. Bayonne and Tulle) have gained their very first every-Sunday T.L.M.s That is a rate of one added diocese every two years.

I mentioned the two gains in dioceses for France over four years. However, this year, the Diocese of Angoulême LOST its every-Sunday T.L.M. So the net gain in dioceses since S.P. was published in 2007 is only one diocese.

It is quite clear that bishops in France are refusing Masses to petitioners. In France, there is a wall of resistance in the Diocese of Cambrai (having over one million faithful in it), the Archdiocese of Reims (with over 600,000), and the Dioceses of Soissons, Langres, St. Denis, Verdun (where the Bishop illegally forces the New Lectinonary on the people), Châlons, Rodez, Mende, Digne, Viviers, La Rochelle, St-Claude, Ajaccio. Then we have the titanic struggle at Thiberville, D. Evreux, finally won for tradition.

In the U.S.A., Bishop Pepe of Las Vegas leads the charge against Benedict XVI, followed closely by the Bishop of Laredo, in Texas. There are still about 25 out of 176 Roman sees having no every-Sunday T.L.M. They include fairly populous dioceses, such as Saginaw and Springfield (Mass.).

The the old Mass is almost entirely forbidden in Quebec, elder sister of the Catholic Faith in Northern America. It is also forbidden throughout Catholic Portugal (except only at Fatima) and Catholic Malta, and the only T.L.M. in Catholic Lithuania is now abolished. If that is progress, I can't imagine what disaster must look like.

Some of us are wondering if the clerics in the P.C.E.D. have been imbibing soporifics. Where is the action against so many obstructive bishops? The answer is obvious: Cardinal Levada, who was himself an obstructor at San Francisco, is protecting the obstructors. The sooner that man retires, the better. When he was Archbishop of San Francisco, he was the only bishop in the State of California (out of twelve) who refused the T.L.M., and he refused to allow it on any basis at all. And the Pope puts him in charge of the P.C.E.D.? What is going on?


Anonymous said...

Tridentine [Latin] Mass works best for me. A slight misnomer (as pointed out by Michael Davis) but he seems to think it works well too.

I don't like the wording of "Extraordinary Form".

P.K.T.P. said...

Comment the Second, P.K.T.P.

Under "Liturgical Regulatory Responsibilities of the Commission", we have this from Msgr. Barreiro:

"We can clearly see that the inclusion of new saints and prefaces shows that the usus antiquior is not a museum piece but a living and organic reality that will grow and develop."

This will be the principal argument used to begin the process of wreckovating the Traditional Latin Mass incrementally, just as Annibale Bugnini proceeded from 1950. He began with changes that were small and few and usually optional. But that was an opening for revolution.

In the case of the prefaces, the process of organic growth demands that changes not be introduced unless the good of the Church "genuinely and certainly requires [them]", and that new forms proceed from established forms. On these grounds, it seems dangerous to intrude any prefaces from NewMass because these, in turn, were composed rather than adapted from existing established forms. To introduce NewMass propers would be to introduce the very principle of perpetual innovation into the usus antiquior, for it would graft onto the Liturgical Tree innovation by composition, from the mind of man.

Notice how it is said that the revised 1962 (probably 2012) Missal will include these prefaces as a "possibility". Here we are seeing one of Bugnini's methods at work: make the first changes optional so that some will use them. Then all must be prepared to accept them, for any celebrant might employ them. NewMass prefaces would also qualify as changes which are "few and minor". Oh, it's no matter.

In regard to new saints, in the aftermath of a revolution, it would be prudent to wait another fifty years, as the revolutionaries are still with us. Certainly I would not mind seeing a Mass for the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. But I don't want one for that Escriva character or for John Paul II, the Showman Pope. In fifty years' time, once we have attained some distance from current conditions, we shall be able to see more clearly which saints deserve universal commemoration.

Why the rush to reform what is being restored? It is so that Benedict XVI can then justify reforming the New Mass so as to begin the process of the blending of the Missals. This we do not want. There is nothing in the New Mass than can enrich the Mass of the Ages.


Sensible chap said...

It's hard to beat Traditional Latin Mass, with "Latin" used in the sense "of the Latin/Roman Rite". This is an accurate description, in common use, and readily understood.

Tom said...

In regard to at least one poster who said that the Holy Father will merge the Traditional Roman Mass and Novus Ordo into one Rite:

Do we know that for certain? Has His Holiness declared that as his intention?

1. Pope Benedict XVI has approved societies of priests who offer the Traditional Roman Mass exclusively.

2. The Pope has worked to obtained peace between Rome and the SSPX.

3. The Pope has favored personal parishes that offer the Traditional Roman Mass exclusively.

In light of the above, why should we believe that His Holiness would, in effect, eliminate the Traditional Roman Mass via the Hybrid Mass?

If anything, the Pope is aware that Traditional Latin Catholics will not surrender the Traditional Roman Mass.


Castelli said...

No details yet, but Perepiscopus claims that Msgr. Fonlupt of Rodez (of all people!) has just given "permission" for an every-Sunday Traditional Mass:

Jonvilas said...

Some correction of P.K.T.P regarding Lithuania. Since mid-October there is monthly (first Saturday of the Month) Mass in diocese of Vilkaviskis, since second Sunday of Advent there is one weekly Mass (on Sundays) in archdiocese of Kaunas (by the way, both Mass are in Kaunas city). Also, since the last Sunday of October (Christ the King), the Mass of Ages has returned to Archdiocese of Vilnius, although on semi-official basis. Thus, the situation is improving a little bit, although the churches provided and the time given demonstrate certain reserved attitude of Lithuanian episcopate. Otherwise, Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

P.K.T.P. said...


My opinion on the Pope's desire to blend the Missals comes from much reportage on the Pope's will when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. I stand by my assessment. This merging, however, is meant to come very slowly, just as the Bugnini destruction took a full twenty years. Also, while there is evidence that the Pope and others in the curia want a merging of the Missals, it is possible that the Holy Ghost has other ideas.

I think that the Pope only hopes to begin a process of merging by baby-steps. I think that he will take the first step next year in altering the 1962. Soon thereafter, he will make changes to NewMass in the traditional direction, should his health remain good. I don't think he plans more than one step for each Missal. His aim is to establish a process which will last at least twenty years, and probably more than thirty. At the end of it, there will be one Missal but with some optional forms (e.g. Offertory I from the T.L.M.; Offertory II from New Mass). There will also be options in rubrics so that some of the Mass must be said soto voce, all of ti can be said in the vernacular or in Latin, it can be said versus solem orientem or versus populum, etcetera.

It is well known that the Pope favours the 'brilliant scholarship' of the New Lectionary but also favours the old Offertory and Canon.

If the Pope wants to change the 1962 Mass to prove that it is a living liturgy, I suggest that he change it by reverting to some pre-1962 practics, such as the wearing of the biretta, the removal of the maniple before the Sermon. I'd like to see the Sunday Mass after Christmas demoted so that the Feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Holy Innocents once again take precedence over it. He wants restoratino of saints? Good, lets put SS. Christopher and St. Philomena on the 1962 calendar. Now there's a programme for positive reform. We don't want John Paul II on our calender, and we definitely don't want Escriva, thank you very much.


P.K.T.P. said...

Castelli and Jonvilas:

Thank you both so very much for making my day. I am very serious about this. Your news has warmed my heart. I will definitely celebrate these victories at Rodez and in Lithuania. (By the way, any word on the situation in the D. of Viviers?) I usually buy a bottle of D.P. for each diocese gaining or reganining an every-Sunday T.L.M. It has to be every Sunday, or I don't celebrate it. I have just heard of a *partial* restoration for the cancelled every-Sunday Mass in the D. of Burlington, down in the U.S.A. (Vermont). That's not worth a bottle of D.P. but it is worth a sip of wine, at least. In Burlington, they will get a restoration to (a) every Saturday morning and (b) every third Sunday. That's not worth the every-Saturday-evening Mass of obligation that was lost, but it's a start, and the Bishop there is favourable.

Jonvilas: could you elaborate on Vilnius? Is the Mass there a private Mass? Is it said every Sunday?

Castelli and Jonvilas: If you have prayer intentions, please post them here and I wil commit to one rosary for an intetion for each of you.

I'll close by asking everyone on this list to say just one Ave for the repose of the soul of Mr. Earl Morrison, who died today at 11.00 a.m., just before our Latin Mass began. He was a stalwart at our Latin Mass community in Victoria, and we loved him.

If anyone here can direct me to a good site on traditional funeral Mases and Requiem Masses and graveside obsequies, please do. I'm the M.C. for the community but this will be my first funeral Mass in that capacity.


MP said...

Why not continue to call it Tridentine, for the sake of continuity. It remains the Missal of Trent albeit with the organic changes over the centuries. ANd if not and a distinction still must be made what Gregorian Mass for the 62 Missal and Pauline Mass for the 70? Reading other folks posting about Bishops being favorabale to Tradition while others are not appears an untenable situation for the Faithful. With fears of having Masses lost and then found, only to be lost again with an "unfavorable" Bishop is an obstacle that Rome needs to address in a more aggressive way. It puts the practices of Catholics in a dangerous situation and wears at their Faith. This is inexcusable for Bishops to be able to continue to put the Faithful in such a situation without fear of retribution. Both forms of the Roman Rite need to be celebrated in all parishes of the world.

P.K.T.P. said...


While the term 'Tridentine' is not wrong, it is misleading. Our Mass was only approved by Trent. It is the Mass of a thousand years before Trent. Using the term 'Tridentine' helps liberals imply that it is a creature of Trent and therefore not the Roman Mass of the Ages. The term 'Gregorian' would be better than 'Tridentine', since it had ended its formative period by the time of the pontificate of Gregory the Great.

I prefer the term 'Traditional Latin Mass'. Tradition is our watchword and our policy.


P.K.T.P. said...


The idea that the T.L.M. should be offered in "every parish of the world" is wildly unrealistic, and urging such an outcome makes us all look nuts.

Look, the fact is that we traditionalists are about one-third of one per cent of the faithful in the world today. The first goal is to get one every-Sunday T.L.M. in each diocese in the developed countries alone. Just getting that is a distant goal.

Long-term, a norm of a MINIMUM of one every-Sunday T.L.M. per diocese--and more where it is demanded more--would be reasonable.


Gratias said...

I guess that by supporting M.P. I too fall in the "wildly unrealistic" classification. Yet if you have ambitions better make them big ones. A Traditional Latin Mass in every parish is a good goal. An every-Sunday Mass is too. The importance of every-Sunday Mass I learnt right here in Rorate from M. P.K.T.P. (And I did pray the Ave Maria for Mr. Morrison.)

P.S. I also guess that D.P. stands for Dom Pérignom?

Tom said...

"My opinion on the Pope's desire to blend the Missals comes from much reportage on the Pope's will when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. I stand by my assessment. This merging, however, is meant to come very slowly, just as the Bugnini destruction took a full twenty years."

By such time, particularly should the S.S.P.X. obtain "regularization" within the Church, the Traditional Roman Mass would have achieved entrenchment throughout the world.

Even without the Society's regularization, the F.S.S.P. would have led the charge for the Traditional Mass.

I do not envision, Rome, for example, attempting to force the Hybrid Mass upon the F.S.S.P., Campos and TLM-only personal parishes throughout the Latin Church.

Rome is aware that Traditionalists will not abandon the Traditional Roman Mass.

I find it more likely that Rome would replace the Novus Ordo with the Hybrid Mass.

But again, Rome knows that Traditionalists won't surrender the TLM.


Tom said...

"I guess that by supporting M.P. I too fall in the "wildly unrealistic" classification. Yet if you have ambitions better make them big ones. A Traditional Latin Mass in every parish is a good goal. An every-Sunday Mass is too."

However, in his letter to bishops that accompanied the M.P., Pope Benedict XVI declared that at best, the TLM would be offered on a relatively limited basis.

"The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often.

"Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

Again, in regard to the "old Missal," Pope Benedict XVI made clear the following:

1. TLM "liturgical formation" among priests (and laymen) is not "found very often."

2. Knowledge of the Latin language among priests (and laymen) is not "found very often."

Therefore, as Mr. Perkins stated, the idea that each parish could/should offer the TLM is unrealistic.


Tom said...


Rome has created a tragic liturgical situation within the Church.

The Apostolic See doesn't know what to do in regard to the "two forms of the one Roman Rite" tragedy.


Bill said...

I do not envision, Rome, for example, attempting to force the Hybrid Mass upon the F.S.S.P., Campos and TLM-only personal parishes throughout the Latin Church. Rome is aware that Traditionalists will not abandon the Traditional Roman Mass.

How could the FSSP and other traditional societies who want to remain in full communion and obedient to Rome disobey Rome if changes are made to the 1962 Missal?

Dan said...

Please trads don't fear because even if we're even heading to a "hybrid missal", it'll be meant to replace the Novus Ordo.

The posters who said trads will never give up the TLM are right. And the Vatican definitely knows it.

CFD said...

"I find it more likely that Rome would replace the Novus Ordo with the Hybrid Mass."

Not likely either, given the massive struggles over the new translations of the Missal in English and the other European languages. Pope Benedict XVI would not have allowed the translation process to continue if he was planning to change the Novus Ordo pretty soon.

poeta said...

D.P.= Diet Pepsi


On my budget, anyway.

Jack O'Malley said...

At the parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in the Boston (Massachusetts) archdiocese, the two "forms" are referred to as the "Mass of Paul VI" and the "Mass of St. Gregory the Great". This is fitting as the faithful know whom to blame and whom to praise.

Gratias said...

Pope Benedict knows quite a bit about the traditional Mass. Just Google "Cardinal Ratzinger's Mass in Weimar" and you will find a report from Una Voce President Michael Davies. On April 17th, 1999, Cardinal Ratzinger officiated the Pontifical Mass for the FSSP and ICK . Just like Cardinal Burke does today. We are lucky to have a Pope that understands well what is at stake. We should be more trusting of the great Pope we are so fortunate to have.