Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Old Mass is Back

I just read the long awaited Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI and his accompanying letter which was issued yesterday, July 7.

Benedict is a great teacher and his writings offer an example to teachers who struggle with explanations, illustrations and clarifications of thought and expression. I am sure his Motu Proprio will be discussed and argued and condemned and praised from all sides, and not without negative input. He courageously published it after much consultation and with many prayers.

He encourages “where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962.”

And the warning is there: “If a group of lay faithful… has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei.’

“We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as ‘established and decreed’, and to be observed from 14 September of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.”

The Holy Father wrote an accompanying letter to the Bishops to allay their fears and misconceptions. He mentioned:

“In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions – the liturgical reform – is being called into question. This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were "two Rites". Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.

“In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. 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…”


Anonymous said...

Baronius Press announces its intention to launch a new “Motu Proprio” Edition its best selling 1962 Missal.

Following the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, Baronius Press, is delighted and honoured to announce a Motu Proprio Edition of the 1962 Daily Missal, to be published on the Feast of the Holy Triumph (September 14th 2007).

This will include the full text of the Motu Proprio in Latin and English.

Copies can be pre-ordered at our website , and will be shipped as soon as printing has been completed (Sept/Oct 2007).

Roman Catholic said...

Father, I realize that this is no longer your domain, but is there a possibility that the Traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated at Sts. Peter and Paul?

Fond regards, Father -- we miss you!