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.

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