Skip to comments.Vatican prepares to relax the rules on the celebration of the Tridentine Mass
Posted on 06/18/2004 12:26:59 PM PDT by Tantumergo
THE VATICAN is preparing to relax the rules on the provision of the Tridentine rite, a senior cardinal has disclosed.
Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, told The Lat in Mass, Americas leading traditionalist magazine, that the Vatican was preparing to issue a juridical guarantee in favour of the Tridentine rite, which was the Churchs official rite from the 16th century until 1962.
Cardinal Hoyos remarks are a clear indication that Rome wants to embrace traditionalists by ensuring that they can attend old rite Masses if they so wish. The cardinal praised the Tridentine rite, and acknowledged the growing numbers of traditionalist Catholics, before giving cause to hope that restrictions on the old rite might be lifted.
Priests are allowed to celebrate the Tridentine rite, as long as they obtain permission from their local bishop. Pope John Paul established this privilege in 1988, when he excommunicated Swiss Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his ultra-traditionalist followers. The Vatican hoped that the indult contained in the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei would mean that opponents of liturgical reforms could remain in communion with the Church, and not be drawn into schismatic groups such as the Society of St Pius X. Traditionalists complain, however, that many bishops are not generous in the provision of the Tridentine rite.
Furthermore, controversy over the new rite has increased rather than subsided, with many Catholics demoralised by liturgical abuses that have occurred since the old rite was replaced in the 1960s.
Any further reform would highlight the paradox running through liturgical debate in the Church: traditionalists are now the ones clamouring for change, while liberals are defending the status quo.
Cardinal Hoyos said: The idea is constantly growing that it has become necessary to provide for the concession of the indult in a broader fashion that would correspond more with the reality of the situation. It is thought that the times are mature for a new and clearer form of juridical guarantee of that right, which has already been recognised by the Holy Father with the 1988 indult.
He explained that the cardinals, and the bishops of Ecclesia Dei, a pontifical commission set up to oversee the implementation of the indult, have all studied the matter carefully, and are trying to thrash out the best possible solution.
John Medlin, development manager for the Latin Mass Society, said he was excited by the cardinals comments. Rome is signaling that it is prepared to use the transcendent nature of the traditional Mass as a standard to rein in the abuse in the new rite, he said. We are beginning to hear the death knell of liberalism in the Church and not before time.
Mr Medlin added that one of the most obvious solutions would be to allow priests to decide whether they want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass publicly or not, regardless of diocesan consent, What might happen is that you get a situation where instead of a tradi- tional Catholic having to prove that he or she must have the traditional Mass, the local bishop will have to explain to Rome why he or she should not.
Cardinal Hoyos did not say what the juridical guarantee would entail. The dream scenario for traditionalists would be if the Holy See created a world-wide apostolic administration for the celebration of the old rite, similar to what has happened on a local scale in Campos, Brazil. But the cardinal stressed that the Campos example was not a sign of things to come, but a consequence of specific local conditions.
Bishop Mark Jabale of Menevia, chairman of the Department of Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, said there was very close cooperation between the bishops and the Vatican on the subject of liturgy.
The bishops of England and Wales have, whenever asked, agreed to provide adequate, and in many cases generous provision, he said. Advice has been sought from Cardinal Francis Arinze [prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments], and Cardinal Hoyos, and they have confirmed that ample provision is available.
Mr Medlin did not agree. Some bishops are generous, he said. Other bishops are stingy.
"What is the difference between tridentine and indult? There are two latin masses? I've never been to either"
Yes - there are two Latin Masses. The Mass as it was prior to 1962 (Tridentine Mass) may only be celebrated in Latin. This is also known as the "Indult" Mass, because it may only be said licitly by virtue of an indult (special privilege) contained in the Pope's motu proprio (a bit like an apostolic letter) called "Ecclesia dei".
The new Mass (Novus Ordo or Missa Normativa) may also be celebrated in Latin at any time by right. However, it is nearly exclusively said in English or the vernacular language of the country concerned.
If you've never been to either, I would recommend that you do, as it will at least give you the sense of our common heritage. You will feel more of a link with the roots of the Church and a communion with all our glorious saints and martyrs from whom we received the faith. You will experience how the Church transcends both time and space.
Ideally a sung Latin Mass or High Mass would be best to try if you can find one.
One of the justifications for the Tridentine Mass, of course, is that there be some number of people at the Mass. Our diocese has one Mass, every Sunday, in downtown Fort Worth, and it draws around 250 people.
I would bet that our bishop would say he has met the provisio for meeting the demand for the Tridentine Mass.
Of course, this will not satisfy those who believe that a Tridentine Mass must be offered in every parish.
It needs to have teeth. Those bishops who obstinantly refuse to provide a tridentine mass according to JPII's wishes, i.e., wide and generous, need to be slapped down hard.
I know two priests here in my diocese learning the Tridentine Mass on their own so that they can offer it as soon as this thing from Rome comes through.
"I would bet that our bishop would say he has met the provisio for meeting the demand for the Tridentine Mass."
Well, Bishop Brown here in Orange, California certainly hasn't met that proviso. We had two Tridentine Masses for many years, until one was abruptly cancelled, leaving about 300 people high and dry. This is a huge diocese geographically, so now people who desire this Mass must travel as much as 50 miles to get to the one in San Juan Capistrano. It is offered in the beautiful Serra Chapel in the Mission, which seats around 60 people. How the bishop expects an additional 300 people to fit there is a mystery. It was already necessary to get there by 7:15 to get a seat for the Mass at 8 A.M.
And even if the Vatican gives general approval for this Mass, try finding a diocesan priest who will step forward to offer it. I would think that, given our bishop's well-known animosity toward anything traditional, most of his priests would rather not risk the inevitable job stress that would follow. Oh yes, priests are transferred all the time, and even sent away for more "studies".
So this whole idea of a "more generous" application is a non-starter, IMO. You're going to see the usual stonewalling, and I wonder if the Vatican is up to the hardball that it will take to bring these bishops into submission. Many of the bishops will fight like tigers to keep the dreaded Traditional Mass out of their liberal dioceses.
I fear we'll just see a beautifully written document (they're ALWAYS well written) with absolutely no teeth whatsoever.
I hope I'm wrong.
"I know two priests here in my diocese learning the Tridentine Mass on their own so that they can offer it as soon as this thing from Rome comes through."
These priests should know that by preferring the traditional Latin Mass, their chances of promotion are much worse than the prospect of persecution (remembering that none of the priests from the FSSP and Institute of Christ the King have ever become bishops).
Then again, these priests in your diocese are probably more interested in their heavenly home than a career in Rome.
"Juridical guarantee" would SEEM to mean that, at a minimum, each Diocese must offer one TrRite/Sunday, someplace.
But that's not exactly 'wide and generous.'
An interesting formulation, eh?
Two agreements in one week.
Not to mention being at the same Mass at which your grandparents, THEIR parents, their parents' parents, etc., for about 80 generations back.
"I would bet that our bishop would say he has met the provisio for meeting the demand for the Tridentine Mass."
I would bet their are plenty bishops who say the same - including those who don't permit the traditional Latin Mass at all ("there's no demand").
There are other neo-Jansenists who hold that one Low Mass a week in a remote area (on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon) can be tolerated as long as all the other Sacraments (and corrupted catechesis) are administered in a modernist parish.
Any initiative from the Vatican will inevitably come to down "interpretation" and "collegiality".
As Cardinal Arinze commented in a recent interview:
"The U.S. has bishops, let them interpret that".
In the old movie "The Song of Bernadette," the Lourdes officials boarded up the miraculous spring and refused to allow faithful Catholics to pray there. The local priest asked the bishop what he intended to do about the situation. The bishop replied, "Nothing. If this is from God, God will remove the barrier." God did. The emperor's son took ill, then his fever left after some purloined spring water was used to wipe his brow. The empress was convinced the water from Lourdes had cured him. Down came the fence.
My point is, the Holy Spirit is working this all out, it seems to me. I am convinced it is the paradoxical existence of the SSPX that has forced Rome to accommodate the faithful who have been drifting in ever greater numbers into the Society's chapels. What else could Rome do to prevent further hemorrhaging? Most of the spiritual energy in the Church is coming from the Traditionalist movement--and I include Gibson's movie in this. That can only be because the Holy Spirit is blessing its works.
Good point, there will be no relief in the States.
This must be what Cardinal Hoyos was referring to last week when he told the SSPX that "The time is ripe" to come home. Remember?
I've got to say that this is the best news I have heard from Rome in years, and I am elated.
I joined in trashing the new rules that just came from Rome concering the Liturgy, but this I refuse to trash until such time it proves to be a hoax. I have prayed too long and too hard for this.
It MAY turn out not to be all it is cracked up to be, but any movement is more than we had. The Holy Ghost is moving the Vatican in some way. Prayers work
IN thinking further about this, and in consultation with another FReeper, I think that the mention of SSPX and Rome's interest in unity is not a co-incidence.
Many will accurately say that their authorized OR Mass (if they have one) does not draw a lot of souls. The Milwaukee Mass, e.g., draws around 400.
However, there are at least THREE UN-authorized OR Masses, as well, in the Archdiocese. Maybe the Bishops will be required to report on the existence of UN-authorized OR Masses, and the attendance thereat, as part of the 'juridical process.' Of course, some Bishops may lie...
Cardinal Hoyos sentiments aside, the traditional Latin mass and sacraments aren't coming back in any meaningful way any time soon.
A priest doesn't just wake up on Monday morning and decide he's going to say Latin mass the following Sunday.
It takes both skill and time to learn the chants as well as the particular movements and rubrics that the priest must perform. And considering the vast majority of priests don't know enough Latin to read the slogan on a pack of cigarettes, it will take a considerable time to just get them up to competency in the language.
If Hoyos et al are serious about this, they have to begin by making a mandate to the seminaries that no one is ordained unless they are fluent in Latin and are able to say Latin mass when needed. Even then it will definitely take many years to bring back Latin in a meaningful manner.
Please. Let's not canonize priests who say the Tridentine Mass, and label as crass priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo. They are both valid Masses.
I got news for you.
The vast majority of priests who said the Tridentine Mass prior to 1962 didn't understand one single word of what they were saying.
Correct. However, these two young priests are already under active persecution by Adamec. They are too "rigid," and the gays have threatened them: Gay priests of Diocese A-J in revolt; demand Bishop conceal molesters, sue Catholic activists
Unfortunately, one of the priests targeted by these gay priests has left the priesthood now.