Cardinal Bertone Confirms Document Clarifying Latin Mass Motu Proprio

From the Associated Press:

The Vatican has begun drafting a document to elaborate on Pope Benedict XVI’s recent liberalization of the old Latin Mass because some bishops are either ignoring his move or misinterpreting it, Vatican officials said.

The Vatican’s No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in comments published Thursday that the Vatican would be issuing an “instruction” on how to put the pope’s document into practice, since there had been what he called some “uneven” reactions to it since it went into effect last year.

What should we call Holy Mass according to the 1962 Missal?

Father Z wants to know, go and vote.

Russian Patriarch Lauds Benedict’s Motu Proprio

Says that if the Orthodox had not held on to their traditions, they never would have survived the persecutions…interesting, from Interfax Religion:

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has greeted the recent decree of Pope Benedict XVI providing more freedom to celebrate the ancient Latin Mass.

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that provides more freedom to use the pre-Vatican II Missal ‘is a positive fact,’ Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia said to comment on the Roman Catholic Church reintroducing her ancient liturgical form.

‘We strongly adhere to the tradition. Without being faithful to her liturgy the Russian Orthodox Church would have failed to survive persecutions in 1920s and 1930s,’ the Russian primate told the Italian daily Il Giornale a few days ago after celebration liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin.

The patriarch opined that the pope’s decision might contribute to establishing closer links with the Orthodox Churches, the daily said.

The Patriarch also hints at what is necessary for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, again from Interfax:

“Pope Benedict has said on many occasions that he wants to promote dialogue and cooperation with the Orthodox Churches, and this is a positive occurrence,” Alexy II said in an interview published by the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

A meeting with the pope must be thoroughly prepared, he said.

“It must not be merely an occasion for a few photos or for an appearance before TV cameras. It must strengthen ties between our two Churches,” Alexy II said.

“Even now, some of the Catholic bishops and missionaries see Russia as a territory of missionary activities. But Russia, Holy Rus, which has been permeated with faith for centuries and the Orthodox Church, guarded with God’s blessing, is not a place for missionary activities,” he said.

Alexy II said that it is the first issue to be settled before organizing a meeting.

The second one is the activities of the Greek Catholics Church. “We are concerned about the Uniates as a phenomenon and we can see this tendency even in the regions where it was not common – in eastern Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and even in Russia,” the patriarch said.

“When these issues are settled an opportunity will emerge for a meeting, and it will have sense then,” Alexy II said.

Tutorial on the Tridentine Mass

Complete with video, which will show you and help you pronouce the Latin correctly:
Your resource for the Latin Mass according to the Missale Romanum of 1962

The Search for Old Vestments

An opportunity for vestment makers everywhere, from Reuters:

Both Siffi and Medlin are involved in de facto traditionalist “matchmaking”, linking people who have old vestments or other paraphernalia with those seeking them.

After the changes in the 1960s and 1970s much of the material was thrown out, sold to antiquarians or stashed away in dusty cupboards of rectories or church attics.

“Gradually, these objects are being made available for use again,” said Medlin.

One hard-to-find item is the “burse”: a stiff, cardboard pocket between nine and twelve inches square. It must be covered in silk and of a color to match the mass vestments.

The burse, which fell out of use after the Second Vatican Council, is effectively a pouch which holds the “corporal”, a square piece of white linen cloth on which the chalice is placed during the mass.

Another piece of paraphernalia now being sought is the “maniple”, a napkin-like vestment which hangs from the priest’s left forearm during mass.

Cardinal Levada on Document and Motu Proprio

From The Weekly San Francisco:

During a July 17 interview while visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, Cardinal Levada commented on his congregation’s work, Pope Benedict XVI’s recent instruction on the Tridentine Latin Mass, themes of the young papacy, and challenges facing the universal Church today.

The cardinal was quick to describe as “purely coincidental” the fact that his congregation’s document on the nature of the Church was made public only three days after the pope’s announcement of his decision to allow broader use of the Tridentine liturgical rite.

Many commentaries have linked the two. “Many have tried to see it as some kind of one – two punch,” Cardinal Levada laughed, “but the truth is that it is simply a coincidence that they were published in such proximity.

In restoring easier access “to the principal way of worship in the Church for more than 400 years,” the pontiff “expressed a great generosity” toward persons intensely devoted to the Tridentine Latin Mass, the cardinal said.

The papal directive “was not primarily aimed at the United States,” he said, adding that he feels it will have more impact in France, Germany and Switzerland and little effect in Latin America or Italy.


Turning to the doctrinal congregation’s recent commentary, “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church,” the cardinal said it grew out of extensive conversation and collaboration with theological consultants to the CDF and others, as well as a broad review of published materials.

The document addresses five questions about the nature of the Church “and all five are a commentary on Vatican II documents,” the cardinal said, adding, “It has the advantage of collecting all that has happened since Vatican II up to the present time” and explaining how Church articulation of its own nature as well as its views of other Christian communities have developed.

He said he has been “somewhat surprised” at the amount of “ecumenical commentary” the document has generated. “It is primarily a document addressed to Catholics as believers and teachers and is intended to clarify the teachings of the Second Vatican Council,” he said, “especially the teaching on the nature of the Church.”

That teaching, he said, has been skewed by those who argue “that the Church of Christ can subsist in churches outside the Catholic Church, but that is not the case.”

The Jewishness of the Roman Rite

From First Things:

In my experience, Catholics who have an affinity for the particularly Judaic character of their Christian faith are more likely to be drawn to the Tridentine Mass than are Catholics for whom Judaism is a category on the other side of a boundary they would consider it bad manners to try to cross. You might think that, while Reform Catholics were on the subject of Catholic liturgy and Judaism, they would ask what happened to the Church’s observance of the event that most vividly marks Jesus as Jewish. The establishment of the 1970 missal as normative was accompanied by a certain curious change in the liturgical calendar: The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, on January 1, eight days after the celebration of his birth, wasn’t just moved. It was eliminated.

Of the criticisms that early Protestants leveled against Catholicism, the one that arguably cut deepest was that the Church presumed to revive the Levitical priesthood, which the spilling of Christ’s blood on Calvary now rendered obsolete. They inveighed passionately against the Mass, which they saw as overtly Judaic in its tone, structure, and purpose. (This Jewishness they objected to was largely a theological construct, not to be confused with the social and cultural construct of Judaism familiar to students of Jewish Studies departments at American universities.)

Protestants were correct that the Mass, in its aspect as a sacrifice, could not be fully understood outside the framework of pre-rabbinic Judaism. By the middle of the twentieth century, when Rome’s wish for some thaw in its cold war with Protestantism was in full bloom, it reformed the Mass such that the visible and audible distinctions between Mass and the worship services of the mainline Protestant churches were now greatly softened. Many Catholics saw it as an appropriate ecumenical gesture. So did many Protestants. Whether that step in the direction of Wittenberg and Geneva was deliberate or unconscious, what it was a step away from was Jerusalem, from the Temple and the daily sacrifice priests used to perform there.

Pope Regularly Uses Older Rite?

Report from Catholic World News:

Informed sources at the Vatican have confirmed reports that the Holy Father regularly celebrates Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal.

In his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum the Pope says that the older form– the form in universal use before the liturgical changes that followed Vatican II– was never abrogated.

Since becoming Roman Pontiff, Benedict XVI has always used the new ritual– which he identifies in Summorum Pontificum as the “ordinary form” of the Roman rite– for public celebrations of the Eucharistic liturgy. However few people have witnessed the Pope celebrating his private daily Mass.

I’d like to spontaneously ask the Holy Father to be able to attend.

How to Apply the Second Vatican Council

To Liturgy and Ecumenism, from Sandro Magister:

Just a few months ago, the French bishops were extremely concerned about the news that Benedict XVI was preparing to liberalize the celebration of the Mass labeled as that of Pius V. “Such a decision endangers the Church’s unity,” wrote the most alarmed of them.

Benedict XVI shot straight from the hip, with the “motu proprio” released on July 7. But there was no reaction of rejection from the French bishops. Nor was there from the bishops of the touchiest countries: Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain. On the contrary, their most authoritative leaders hailed the pope’s decision with positive comments: from the German cardinal Karl Lehmann to the English cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, both ranked among the progressives.

The same happened with the document released on July 10 by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which nails down some firm points of doctrine about the Church. There was no comparison with the criticisms that in the summer of 2000 were hurled – even by high-ranking churchmen – against the declaration “Dominus Iesus,” signed by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which to a great extent dealt with the same points of doctrine. Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the critics back then, decisively supported the Vatican document this time: “Clearly stating one’s own positions does not limit ecumenical dialogue, but fosters it.” And from Moscow, metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, president of the department for external relations at the Russian Orthodox patriarchate, described the text as “an honest declaration, because sincere dialogue requires a clear vision of the respective positions.”

Criticisms did arrive, naturally, against both of these promulgations, from within and outside of the Church, and especially from Protestants and Jews. But in the Catholic camp the protests were limited to confined sectors, mostly Italian: the sectors of the liturgists and of the intellectuals who interpret Vatican Council II as a “rupture” and a “new beginning.”

Among the liturgists, the one most pained in contesting the papal “motu proprio” was Luca Brandolini, bishop of Sora, Aquino, and Pontecorvo, and a member of the liturgical commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, in an interview with the newspaper “la Repubblica”:

“I cannot hold back my tears; I am living through the saddest moment of my life as a bishop and as a man. This is a day of mourning not only for me, but for the many who have lived and worked for Vatican Council II. What has been negated is a reform for which many worked at the cost of great sacrifices, motivated solely by the desire to renew the Church.”

Among the theorists of Vatican II as a “rupture” and a “new beginning,” the most explicit against the papal provisions were the founder and prior of the monastery of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, and the historian of Christianity Alberto Melloni, coauthor of the most widely read “History of Vatican Council II” in the world. For Melloni, the objective of pope Ratzinger is nothing less than that of “deriding” and “demolishing” Vatican Council II.

But instead it is known that Benedict XVI’s clear objective – plainly enunciated and argued in the memorable discourse to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005 – is that of freeing the Council from a particular interpretation: precisely the interpretation of “rupture” and “new beginning” dear to Bianchi and Melloni.

“The hermeneutic of discontinuity,” the pope said in this address, “risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church”.

While instead the correct interpretation of Vatican Council II, in the view of Benedict XVI, is this:

“… the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.”

Alcuin Reid on the Motu Proprio

Via the New Liturgical Movement:

Dr Alcuin Reid is a former Benedictine monk and an Australian. He’s also a leading liturgy scholar and the author of The Organic Development of the Liturgy, the definitive text on the Tridentine mass. In fact the glowing Preface of his recent book was written by one Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Alcuin Reid: It certainly is a big story in the history of the liturgy in the Catholic church, especially in the last 40, 50 years, big questions are raised by it, how does this relate to the reform of the Second Vatican Council? Is this a reversal? All sorts of big questions. In terms of local parishes, there probably won’t be much difference immediately, I think any change, any development, any enrichment of the liturgical life of the parishes is likely to be gradual.

Read more…

Confirmation on the Motu Proprio from Vatican

Today’s Vatican News Service confirms what many news agencies are reporting that the Secretary of State met with selected bishops from around the world to present the forthcoming Motu Proprio to them, along with the Holy Father’s letter of explanation. In Italian:


Given below is the text of a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office concerning Benedict XVI’s forthcoming “Motu Proprio” on the use of the Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962.

“Yesterday afternoon in the Vatican, a meeting was held under the presidency of the Cardinal Secretary of State in which the content and spirit of the Holy Father’s forthcoming ‘Motu Proprio’ on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 was explained to representatives from various episcopal conferences. The Holy Father also arrived to greet those present, spending nearly an hour in deep conversation with them.

“The publication of the document – which will be accompanied by an extensive personal letter from the Holy Father to individual bishops – is expected within a few days, once the document itself has been sent to all the bishops with an indication of when it will come into effect.”

Motu Proprio Released on Papal Elections

Pope Benedict is reverting back to the pre-Pope John Paul II revisions…Father Z has the summary.

Also he notes that the release date for that “other” Motu Proprio is now July 6th

Motu Proprio Update

According to Father Z’s sources it is being printed.

Latest Motu Proprio Date

From the Italian Petrus, Rorate Caeli gives us the translation:

The Papal “Motu Proprio” for the liberalization of the Latin Mass according to the Tridentine rite of Saint Pius V is ready, is about to be translated into several languages and will be published right before the departure of Benedict XVI for the summer vacation. [Rorate note: The Pope’s early vacation this summer will be spent in a small villa owned by the Diocese of Treviso, in the tiny hamlet of Lorenzago di Cadore, Province of Belluno, in the Veneto region, in the July 9-27 period.]

For everyone who will be confused endlessly by this, Amy has a Motu Proprio Tip Sheet.

Motu Proprio This Week?

I know we’ve heard this before, but this actually makes sense–to link it to the Letter to China as an outreach to the traditionalist church there…

Father Z has the goods:

Der Spiegel: Motu Proprio THIS WEEK

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