Monday, July 09, 2007

Summorum Pontificum - What does it mean?

With the long awaited release of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, there is much confusion in the reporting on it, even from otherwise solid catholic sources.
So let's review a little bit.
1) The Tridentine and Novus Ordo liturgies are no longer to be considered different rites, but different uses of the same rite (just as the liturgy approved for Anglican converts is not an Anglican Rite, but rather the Anglican use of the Roman Rite). Why is this important? First and foremost, it states in no uncertain terms that the Novus Ordo is not some new departure, but is the ROMAN RITE, which will (hopefully) cut down - or eliminate - the abuses that have occured in the last 37 years.
2) There is no longer a need for the faithful - or priests - attached to the 1962 Missal(i.e., the traditional use) to go begging their Bishop to allow them to worship God in this fashion. Any priest may offer it as a private mass, and any pastor may allow it in his parish.
3) The 1962 Breviary is allowed for those in orders and for those who are expected to pray a valid form of the Divine Office.
4) Contrary to reports, the Good Friday prays for the Conversion of the Jews are not reinstated; they were deleted prior to the 1962 Missal.
5) Contrary to reports, Latin is not forbidden during the Triduum (it has always been licit to say the Novus Ordo in Latin). Neither is the 1962 Missal forbidden during the Triduum. What is forbidden is the celebration of private Masses according to the 1962 Missal during the Triduum.
6) Parishes may now be established which celebrate accordign to the 1962 Missal.

Many have suggested that this Motu Proprio was a move on the part of Benedict XVI aimed at reconciling the Society of St. Pius X. Personally, I doubt it. He has stated that a priest who celebrates according to the 1962 Missal may not reject the possibility (and therefore the validity) of celebrating according to the 1970 Missal. SSPX certainly will never agree to this.

No, this is not an olive branch to the Traditionalist who have left the Church to wallow in their own dissention. It is an encouragement to those of us who believe that the faith of Vatican II is the faith of Nicea; who believe that the Roman Mass is centered on Christ, not Man.

Papa Benedicte, tibi gratias agimus. Semper te benedicat Dominus noster, Jesus Christus.