Rorate Caeli

A win-win situation for Holy Innocents proposed in the New York Times

Monday's print edition (online Sunday evening) of the New York Times carries letters to the editor in response to the paper's front page article on Holy Innocents in the Archdiocese of New York.

The second letter to the editor is from a dear Rorate contributor, echoing the point previously made by us in our post on the situation:

Does the Latin Mass Have a Future in New York?

To the Editor:

The arguments by the Archdiocese of New York in favor of closing Catholic churches are always about two issues: parish finances operating in the red and a shortage of priests.

The Church of the Holy Innocents, however, operates with a budget surplus, according to your news article.

The parish, which is the only church in New York City that offers a daily traditional Latin Mass, clearly has a congregation that largely favors the pre-Vatican II liturgy and sacraments. The question, then, is why Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan does not invite a traditional religious order of priests into the archdiocese to administer Holy Innocents.

There are at least two such societies of clergy in perfect standing with the Vatican, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Institute of Christ the King. Each runs parishes in North Jersey, among dozens of other places in the United States and beyond.

This option, called a “personal parish,” would seem to address concerns from all sides and keep the parish and its Latin Mass community intact. My hunch is that the fraternity or the institute would be able to arrange for several priests to move to Holy Innocents immediately if Cardinal Dolan were to extend such an invitation.


Washington, June 30, 2014

The writer is a contributor to Rorate Caeli, a traditional Catholic blog.

Let us recall that the instrument of the Personal Parish (or Chaplaincy), that already had full applicability for such situations, was expressly foreseen by Benedict XVI (the Pope who named the current Archbishop of New York and created him a Cardinal)  in the Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", signed and promulgated exactly seven years ago, on July 7, 2007 (cf. Art.10/SP, and can. 518 of Code of Canon Law).