Sunday, July 01, 2007

more motu

As I've been trying to keep up with and chronicle here the news on the upcoming Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass (here and here, recently), below are some snippets from Whispers' excellent coverage (follow his blog for more in-depth info and, please, do donate):

First, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, who called 15 bishops from around the world together to discuss it, gives three "key reasons" for the documents release (you won't be surprised by the very last few words):

The first and main one is to ease the full communion and reconciliation of the St. Pius X Society with the pope. Suppression of the Tridentine Mass was a major reason for Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers to break with the pope.


A second reason for the Motu Proprio is to enable "wider use" of the Tridentine Mass. Unlike the "ordinary form" approved by Paul VI in 1969, in the Motu Proprio, the Tridentine Mass is considered an "extraordinary" expression of the Latin Rite.

John Paul II authorized bishops to approve requests of people for the Tridentine Mass, but many bishops have refused to do so. Benedict, lobbied by traditionalists and basically sympathetic to them, devised the "extraordinary" form as a way to unblock the situation and accommodate those people.

The third reason for the Motu Proprio is to preserve "the treasures" of the Church's older culture, including Latin in the liturgy, and to integrate them into the contemporary culture.


All participants expressed their views at the meeting. Some saw the Motu Proprio as an expression of "pastoral charity," or a strong affirmation of "diversity in unity." By the end of the meeting, most indicated their basic acceptance of the text, but a few, like the French, still had reservations.
Of course...

Second, Rocco shares some comnments from Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap who was in on the Motu Proprio meeting (from Cardinal O'Malley's blog here)

From Cleveland I flew to Rome at the request of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to participate in a meeting discussing the Holy Father’s Moto Proprio about the use of the older form of the Latin Mass. There were about 25 bishops there, including the president of Ecclesia Dei Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, the prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Cardinal Francis Arinze, several heads of bishops’ conferences as well as some cardinals and other residential bishops.

They shared with us the Moto Proprio and the Holy Father’s letter explaining it. We also had an opportunity to read the Latin document. We each commented on that, and then the Holy Father came in and shared some of his thoughts with us. The Holy Father is obviously most concerned about trying to bring about reconciliation in the Church. There are about 600,000 Catholics who are participating in the liturgies of the Society of St. Pius X, along with about 400 priest[s]....

The Holy Father was very clear that the ordinary form of celebrating the Mass will be the new rite, the Norvus Ordo. But by making the Latin Mass more available, the Holy Father is hoping to convince those disaffected Catholics that it is time for them to return to full union with the Catholic Church.

So the Holy Father’s motivation for this decision is pastoral. He does not want this to be seen as establishing two different Roman Rites, but rather one Roman Rite celebrated with different forms. The Moto Propio is his latest attempt at reconciliation.

In my comments at the meeting I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low. Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country. Therefore this document will not result in a great deal of change for the Catholics in the U.S. Indeed, interest in the Latin Mass is particularly low here in New England.

In our archdiocese, the permission to celebrate the Latin Mass has been in place for several years, and I granted permission when I was in Fall River for a Mass down on the Cape. The archdiocesan Mass is now at Immaculate Mary of Lourdes Parish in Newton. It is well attended, and if the need arises for an extension of that we would, of course, address it.

This issue of the Latin Mass is not urgent for our country, however I think they wanted us to be part of the conversation so that we would be able to understand what the situation is in countries where the numbers are very significant. For example, in Brazil there is an entire diocese of 30,000 people that has already been reconciled to the Church.
Finally, at the Cardinal's blog, there are some interesting comments visitors have posted in response to his remarks that are worth sharing. Some snippets:

1. I’m wondering: Is there not also another element to this MP, that being the reforming influence which the Traditional Mass might have on the current Missal?

2. I am so pleased you were able to be in Rome to speak with the Pope on the Motu Proprio on the Traditional Mass. I believe you underestimate the power of and the latent desire for this Mass in the United States. Most people have not even heard that it is an option. The Masses I have attended have been packed with young, devout familes. The seminaries that train priests for the Traditional rite are full. Wherever the Traditional Mass is freely offered, it is well atended. I myself feel such a spiritual lift from a single Traditional Mass, that I feel spiritually empowered throughout the entire week. The fact is, since the Novus Ordo was introduced, Mass attendance has decreased by half in this country, and by 80 to 90 % in Europe and Canada. Even in Boston, Catholic marriages are down 60% in the last 20 years! If the Traditional Mass can bring them back, why not try it in most parishes in the archdiocese and see what happens? At least it’s a talking point for inviting someone to come back to the Church. On this feast of St. Peter and Paul, with its focus on evagelization, let’s do everything we can to evangelize our own. If that means having two forms of the Mass as the norm, then so be it! If we are seeking unity with Protestants, then why not with Traditionalists? And don’t underestimate our numbers. We are truly everywhere… we just have not been invited to come out and join the celebration. Now it is our turn to invite the rest of the Church to join us in the traditonal form of worship which nourished so many saints for so many centuries. Please let the Spirit work freely in our midst and support the flowering of Tradition in our parishes!

3. May I also suggest, regarding this posting, that the Holy Father, by making the Classical Roman Mass more available, is not only reaching out to the faithful who are presently involved with the Society of St. Pius X, but also, as has already been publicly stated by both Cardinals Castrillón and Bertone, endeavoring to rediscover the treasure of the liturgical heritage of the Church, to foster a hermeneutic of continuity, and to refocus - in all of the Roman Rite - our sense of what the liturgy is all about, preparing what he has termed a “reform of the reform”.

4. As a young American, I must disagree with your characterization of the demand for the Traditional Latin Mass. This issue is at the forefront of orthodox Catholicism today, particularly among the young Catholics of the John Paul II generation. I was born long after the Council, and have felt deprived of my liturgical heritage. I am not alone.

No comments: