Jul 7, 2007

Is Art. 5.1 in "Summorum Pontificum" an unfortunate loophole?

"Summorum Pontificum," Pope Benedict XVI's new Motu Proprio, issued today, die septima mensis Iulii (July 7), will take effect die decima quarta Septembris huius anni (Sept. 14 of this year), in festo Exaltationis Sanctae Crucis (on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross).

The Motu Proprio and the Pope's explanatory letter make clear that he wants wider celebration of the Tridentine Latin Mass. But the way I read the document -- what about you? -- pastors do not have to provide for any such Mass at all unless an existing Tridentine Latin Mass group in the parish requests it. See the relevant sections of the document, below.

The Catholic News Service provides these summary points about the Motu Proprio:

-- "Any priest can celebrate Mass in private using the 1962 missal, except in the Triduum."

-- "Catholic lay people may attend a priest's private Mass that uses the 1962 missal."

-- "If a recognized group of Catholic laity asks its parish priest to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 missal, he should do so."

-- "The 1962 missal can be used for Mass on any weekday, but no more than one Tridentine Mass should be celebrated in a given parish on Sundays. "

So does the point about the parish group give you pause? Here it is in "Summorum Pontificum," first in the unofficial English translation and then in the official Latin:

Art. 5.1. In parishes where a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably, let the pastor willingly accede to their requests for the celebration of the holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962. Let him see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously reconciled with ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop according to Canon 392, avoiding discord and fostering the unity of the whole church.

Art. 5, ยง 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. Ipse videat ut harmonice concordetur bonum horum fidelium cum ordinaria paroeciae pastorali cura, sub Episcopi regimine ad normam canonis 392, discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo.

The potential trouble with this is, how many parishes have already existing groups attached to the 1962 Missal? If we form such groups between now and Sept. 14, will that satisfy pastors?

Also, I do not see anything that says a pastor may schedule regular daily or Sunday public parish celebration of Tridentine Latin Masses on his own initiative.

By the way, the holy illustration above is from the website of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God, the Motu Propio is not as sweeping as some wanted and others feared! I would anticipate that there will not be much difference here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since those who are attached to the Mass of Pius V already have places to go where it is celebrated. It would not surprise me if usage of the 1962 Missal were to become a weekly, or even daily, event rather than a monthly celebration at places such as Old Mission San Fernando and St. John Vianney Chapel. The second reason I don't thnk there will be any sweeping changes in this Archdiocese is the fact that most priests are incapable of offering the Mass of Pius V--they have either forgotten it or never learned it. The Pope is right when he says its usage will be rather extraordinary.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 11:37 p.m.,

His Holiness did not say the usage of the Mass will be extraordinary in the sense of "rare."

Why would anyone "fear" the Mass of St. Pius V? (He is a saint, of course, so we should always include that title in his name.) Quite a revealing word: Fear!

And why would anyone not want the Mass of the ages said widely? The Holy Father clearly expects it to be said more widely.

As for "places to go" for the T. Latin Mass: Around the USA, they are often out of the way and they are scheduled at times such as 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., which make it difficult for most people. That is no accident; the bishops must share your "fear" of the T.L.M.

Don't look now, but several orders of priests have already offered training courses for priests so they can say the T.L. Mass.

Let's hope Catholic publishers bring back Latin-vernacular missals very soon.

Don't fear the Tridentine Latin Mass. Embrace diversity! Celebrate diversity!

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero,
I didn't say "fear" as in fear of the Mass of Pope St. Pius V, O.P. (I got more of his titles in just for you). The fear was that Motu Propio would be more sweeping than it turned out to be. Lots of people who are attached to the Tridentine Mass are also early Mass-goers...like the many who go to early Mass of Pope Paul VI because there are no choirs (kind of like the equivalent of the old "low Mass") So I don't see scheduling it at 6:30 or 7 a.m. as discouragement at all. Personally, I think people who want to have wider access to the Mass of Pius V should also impose upon themselves the discipline of fasting from midnight if they want to receive Holy Communion. Let's see some real tradition!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

I think your reading of the document is flawed--which is NOT to say that your 'reading' of the local clergy is flawed...

B-16 is very clear--any number (from 2-infinity) of parishioners may make the request, and the priest should respond positively (or the Bishop should.)

However, that does not mean that 2 people should have an Old Rite "right" for daily and Sunday Masses. That may not be reasonable, given existing schedules, etc.

I suspect that Bishops and priests of GOOD will will find ways to accomodate the requests; however, it may mean that 2 people from St. X's will have to drive 5 miles to St. Y's for the Mass--joined there by others from St. Z's, for a total group of 50-100.

Not at all unreasonable on either side.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

To fear that more sweeping permission would be given for the Mass is to fear that Mass, no?

Very few young families are able to get everyone ready for a very early Mass. And many people find a mid-afternoon Mass on Sunday difficult to fit in.

There already are people who observe the fast from midnight.

Why are you smart-aleck and unsympathetic to your fellow Catholics who love the Mass of the Ages, the Mass that Blessed Pope John XXIII and the Council Fathers celebrated?

What animus do you have against it? And do you have an animus against orthodox Catholics, too?

Pope Benedict XVI has now written that we may not consider the Mass harmful or to be forbidden.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Dad29,

Hope you are right. I think the liberals will drag their feet, put up every roadblock they can think of and try every trick they can.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero,
I'm glad to hear that many tradition-minded Catholics do impose upon themselves the midnight fast before receiving Holy Communion--it shows consistency on their part.

Pastors who are approached about having the Mass of Pius V will have to make a judgment in which they weigh the desires of a group of tradition-minded parishioners against the desires of a significantly larger number of parishioners who want to attend the Mass of Paul VI. (The Holy Father's letter accompanying Summorum Pontificium foresees that the desire for Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal will emanate from a minority in most parish settings.)

A reasonable and just pastor will assign the "prime times" to the Mass that will serve the most parishioners while assigning another time before or after them to the smaller group desiring the 1962 Missal.

While the Pope asks pastors to be accommodating, he doesn't ask them to be imprudent.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for writing again!

In Art. 5.1. of Summorum Pontificum, the Holy Father writes:

"...let the pastor willingly accede to their requests for the celebration of the holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962. Let him see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously reconciled with ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop according to Canon 392, avoiding discord and fostering the unity of the whole church."

I would think that "willingly accede" would include making attendance at the Latin Mass accessible and convenient.

Any parish that has, say, four to six Masses on Sunday can surely set aside one mid-morning time for the T.L.M. -- or how about the 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass?

That should satisfy "ordinary pastoral care" for everyone.

Don't you think people will like the Tridentine Latin Mass when they attend it? Catholics sure have for hundreds of years.

And as for Catholics who want to attend the Novus Ordo Mass, the continuing mass (pun intended) exodus from the Church in the past 40 years suggests that many Catholics, especially young ones, have NOT wanted to attend it.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Q...only a fundamentalist who finds refuge in simplistic answers to complex questions would buy the idea that Mass attendance went down solely because the rite changed or that Mass attendance will soar now that the old way will be more accessible.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. said...

Anonymous,

May God have mercy on your soul.

The Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. are already preparing to send a priest who wants to take up the offer of the Institute of Christ the King for training in the Mass of St. PIUS V, and we are willing to consider any request from a validly ordained priest to do the same for him.

Any such priest needing such assistance can contact us at: 714-491-2284 or crcoa@dslextreme.com.

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., www.crcoa.com

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. said...

Anonymous,

May God have mercy on your soul.

The Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. are already preparing to send a priest who wants to take up the offer of the Institute of Christ the King for training in the Mass of St. PIUS V, and we are willing to consider any request from a validly ordained priest to do the same for him.

Any such priest needing such assistance can contact us at: 714-491-2284 or crcoa@dslextreme.com.

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., www.crcoa.com

11:16 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 12:01 a.m.,

As long as you're going to "Ah" me, I'll reply, "Ah, Anonymous, if only you could actually refute my points instead of:

a) resorting to name-calling, and cliched name-calling at that, and the type of name-calling ("fundamentalists")that liberals always use, which is interesting because you've insisted you're not a liberal

b) indulging in intellectual pride and more name-calling, as well as, once again, the type of intellectual pride and name-calling that self-deluded liberals ALWAYS use ("simplistic answers to complex questions")

c) mischaracterizing what your opponent has said (I never said that many Catholics have left the Church "solely" because of the New Mass. If you want a complex answer, then I can add to the New Mass a whole list of liberal abuses, starting with decreasing belief in the Real Presence by Communion in the hand and having extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.

8:34 AM  

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