Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What's "Let's Get it On!" in Latin?

CWNews confirms old news....
Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will meet with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior-general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), on August 29, to discuss the prospects for reconciliation between the Vatican and the schismatic group.

Although the Vatican has not yet confirmed plans for the meeting, officials of the Roman Curia have unofficially acknowledged the accuracy of reports within the SSPX about the coming meeting.

According to those reports, Bishop Fellay will meet with the Pontiff and with Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was charged by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) with the task of seeking to restore unity with the traditionalists. Bishop Fellay will be accompanied to the meeting by Abbot Arnaud Sélégny, the secretary-general of the SSPX. The talks will take place at the Pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
Castrillion is taking the part he is thanks to his presidency of the Ecclesia Dei commission -- they're the cats who supervise the application of the indult for the 1962 Missal and, ergo, relations with Econe. He ordained the former SSPXer in Campos -- the sole Tridentine-only jurisdiction anywhere -- a couple years back after JP named him a bishop and apostolic administrator there. And he performed the other great recent gesture of Trid love, the pontifical high 1962 liturgy at St. Mary Major during a Trad pilgrimage to Rome. This was in '02, if memory serves.
Bishop Fellay said that when he met with Pope Benedict, he would ask the Pontiff to authorize the universal use of the Tridentine mass. He also said that he would ask the Pope to retract the decrees of excommunication against Archbishop Lefebvre and the bishops he consecrated. Bishop Fellay added that these two requests would be the starting point for discussions with the Holy See.
Um, it's more than a little cocky for Fellay to think he's the one who can dictate "the starting point," no? But, then again, should we be surprised?

Don't be surprised, however, if the universal indult comes up high on the discussion list from both sides. It's in the winds for discussion at the Synod....

SVILUPPO: Papabile, our resident expert on issues of the old rite and the SSPX, clarifies this report. Here's a snip:
The Fraternity of St. John Marie Vianney [Campos] was not established by the SSPX, nor was it ever administered by them. It was the former Bishop of Campos who took many Priests with him when the new Bishop directed the Pauline Rite be offered. In some ways, it was administered much like a diocese.

When they were reconciled, they were made an Apostolic Administration and put under Congregation for the Clergy. They were not put under Ecclesia Dei. This is critical. They do not exercize the Ecclesia Dei indult. They offer the Mass proper to their Apostolic Administration, the Pian Rite.

Now, why do so many people think they are former SSPX'ers? They think this because when Lefebvre conducted the June 88 consecrations, the Bishop of Campos was a co-consecrator and thus putatively incurred the same penalty.
With thanks, cheers and a tip, I stand corrected and am enjoying a hearty dose of crow.



Blogger the Savage said...

The universal indult will only happen if the Holy Father simply does it. If it is "discussed at the synod", it will be a dead letter and the schism will gradually become permanent. In any event, it is a trivially simple matter for the Pope to allow the universal indult: he simply has to publish the findings of the 1986 cardinalatial commission (of which then Cardinal Ratzinger was a member) which apparently ruled by an 8-1 margin that the Tridentine Mass had never been suppressed and that any Latin rite priest already has the canonical right to celebrate it. It was never published because of outrage from the European bishops, although the 1988 indult was a gesture towards liberalization.

23/8/05 16:10  
Blogger Todd said...

The limited use of the 1962 Rite is a boon in disguise for traditionalists. A universal permission for that Rite would guarantee a significant drop in quality of those Masses where prayed. As it is, in large cities, all eggs can be put into one basket, as it were. If you had the Tridentine Mass groups splintered into various sympathetic parishes, it would weaken these groups and dilute the witness they try to provide.

As a Roman Rite, eventually the 1962 Missal needs to be reformed. It's hard to miss the hypocrisy of the fuss over glass chalices and who handles the tabernacle key for the 1970 Rite when more important aspects (like a revised Lectionary) are ignored in the 1962 Rite.

23/8/05 16:13  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The opinion that the 1962 Lectionary "needs" revision is founded on what?

Yes, I like the three-cycle, more complete readings of the N.O. But that certainly doesn't make the readings of the Old Rite less valid, nor less interesting.

The omphaloskeptic-originated cri de couer of "hypocrisy" is, at best, a red herring; at worst, it's a thinly-disguised snit thrown by an endangered species: the lit-wonk.

Give it up, already!!

23/8/05 16:25  
Blogger the Savage said...

There are aspects of the 1962 Missal that I agree could or even should be revised, but there are no crying problems with the old rite. Sticking to the ancient cycle of readings in the Lectionary is not a liturgical abuse like improper handling of the sacred species. Ensuring the stability of the old rite is a much more important objective than letting the liturgists have another crack at changing it. The last attempt didn't go so well, as the former Cardinal Ratzinger noted on many occasions.

23/8/05 17:22  
Blogger Todd said...

"The opinion that the 1962 Lectionary "needs" revision is founded on what?"

No less than a Universal Council of the Church.

" ... but there are no crying problems with the old rite."

If not, then why did the world's two-thousand-plus bishops nearly unanimously think otherwise, and think it to the extent they produced a Constitution on it? Or perhaps Council teachings are somehow optional?

" ... he presumes to tell those who want the 62 Missal more widely available that they should be grateful that it isn't and that they are poorly disguised hypocrites ..."

Nice try, but I aim the label of hypocrite at those in authority, the Vatican, especially the CDWDS.

"But at least they could have the common decency to leave us alone and let us worship without constantly interfering and telling us what's good for us."

For starters, I've never written letters to my bishop or to the Vatican about indult Masses. I haven't picketed their liturgies, neither have I audiotaped or videotaped their Masses, nor have I insinuated or even outright stated they are not Catholics. I haven't even spilled root beer on their maniples or tied their altar servers' shoelaces together.

I stated an opinion about the use of the indult Mass. I may well be wrong, but calling me a dissenter has nothing to do with my assertion. If I had the luxury of putting all my best energies and volunteers to task for one 1970 Rite Mass a week, I could blast your garden variety baldacchino to the neighboring parish. Maybe literally. We have one indult rite parish in KC: a few hundred people. If four or five parishes offered the 1962 Mass, those parishioners would line up regionally or along parish lines and we'd have four or five Masses with about fifty people each.

Decency is far from a common virtue amongst many Catholics, and this has never been truer than in the Catholic blogodrome.

23/8/05 20:06  
Blogger Todd said...


"You claim that theology and liturgy are unconnected."

I made no such claim. My statement that a wide use of the 1962 Rite would result in a decrease in the overall external quality of Tridentine worship. That a matter not of theology, or really liturgy, but of speculative economics and sociology.

"People with a deep and abiding respect for Tradition ... believe in order and reverence and care in the liturgy and they believe in tradition and continuity and following the rules."

Great. So do I. But both these people and I know there are times when the rules alone are not enough. Faithfulness to the rubrics is a fine starting point, but more is required for good liturgy.

"Pope Ratzinger says that the entire SENSE of what the liturgy IS has been virtually lost in the West."

I agree. And I think the loss predates Vatican II.

"You say things are much better than they were fifty years ago."

Generally, yes, they are.

"And it's hardly unsurprising that someone who thinks as you do about doctrine, also thinks as you do about liturgy."

You have no clear idea what I think about doctrine. I'm a good and faithful Catholic. The Catechism teaches us that you should presume to agree, unless you have a substantial reason to believe otherwise. My confessing that the church's teaching on women's ordination is difficult isn't nearly in the category of rejection of doctrine, however much you wish it to be.

"No, you didn't aim your charge of hypocrisy at the authorities. I remember your comments ..."

You've also mixed them up. I believe it's hypocritical to focus on peripherals when the liturgy demands more serious work. If, however, you have complained about these things, I don't take you for being a hypocrite, just misguided.

"You said that you thought it would be best if it were not freely available, a comment you repeated in your response."

Best for those who are attached to quality in liturgy.

"That's proposing denying people something that this Pope and the last have asked be 'widely and generously available.'"

Not at all. I'm just making a prediction.

"We are sick of being denied the Old Mass and want it freely available and de-politicized."

Some women would like an inclusive language translation of the Lectionary and Sacramentary. Sometimes they fuss publicly about it. Sometimes they're just heartsick over not getting it. Would you grant parishes and communities that wanted it such a translation if you were given yours?

"Todd, YOU are the one who proposes and defends dissent and denies its seriousness."

As Amy Welborn says, "Prove it!"

"You say, Holiness is important. Forget Dissent."

Holiness is more important than dissent.

"Sinners (and mean grumps!) are in the Church; Dissenters (be they ever so sweet and kind) are out."

But that's the thing of it. Dissenters are all over the place. They're not out. This is not the time for the harvest, and Jesus has not delegated his role as the harvestmaster to traditionalist, liberal, or any other kind of Catholic.

24/8/05 00:51  
Blogger Todd said...

Thanks, Jeff; I'll accept that last word.

It is clear you seem not able to focus on a topic thread. Personally, I find cocktail conversatino stimulating: going from one topic to another without much of a logical sequence. I'm not sure why you are so bothered by what I write in comment boxes that you keep running track of these things, nursing them like a grudge. I've invited you a few times, and others as well, that if you would like me to comment in detail on something, to just e-mail me and I'll be happy to post on my blog both your questions and my response. You have yet to take me up on that challenge. I'm left to conclude you enjoy being contrary for contrariness' sake. That's cool. I do it too.

But don't mistake your own sense of contrariness for being a defender of the faith.

24/8/05 10:26  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

What would the so-called "universal indult" accomplish in practice? Would it mean that any pastor in any parish could suddenly switch his masses from English Novus Ordo to Tridentine even if his parishioners and his bishops object? If that is the case, then I would oppose the universal indult. That would be too bad, since I want there to be MORE celebrations of the tridentine mass, not less.

24/8/05 11:01  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

Here is another author, John Jay Hughes, who found the tridentine mass, as practiced, to be pedestrian and shoddy. Father Hughes used to be a spike Anglo-Catholic priest, so he knows good liturgy when he sees it. I don't agree with his argument in its entirety, but I do believe his characterization of how the mass was usually celebrated.


The quality of the low masses I've atttend has been just "ok" though nothing to write home about. (I am not a fan of the low mass). I do think that tThose who are most otivated to preserve the Tridentine mass are likely to celebrate it with more care than the average priest who used to say the mass. On the other hand, a well-executed solemn high mass (Tridentine) is glorious. Outside of places like Washington, DC where there is a high Tridentine mass once a month, they are very difficult to find.

But no one has yet explained how a universal indult would work!

24/8/05 14:43  
Blogger Elinor Dashwood said...

I like the Tridentine rite when it's well done; it never is around here, however. The only priest who says it - a dear, excellent man - has the worst Latin pronunciation I've ever heard in my life, possibly because he talks it so fast and slurs all the words together. It keeps me from objecting as I otherwise would that he talks up his sleeve and is almost inaudible.

I must say, however, that participation really is not the summum bonum of Mass attendance. That's a view that only cropped up in the last forty years. I'd be glad to see a much broader indult, but I don't think it would lead to the new rite being driven out: people are lazy, and for some reason most people are scared to death of Latin. Of course if the Tridentine rite became much more common there would be abuses, but that's life in this vale of tears. The point is to police the abuses the best way we can, in whatever rite they occur.

25/8/05 00:18  

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