Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Indult again

Rumours seen to be reaching a cresendo and today in Le Figaro Magazine, Cardinal Bertone verifies the existence of the Motu Proprio and its imminent arrival. As usual Rorate Caeli has the story. I reproduce their translation here. It is good to see that the 1962 calendar is not going to be altered to fit in with the Pauline Missal.

Is a Decree widening the possibility of celebrating the Latin Mass according to the rite from before Vatican II (the so-called Mass of Saint Pius V) still expected?

Cardinal Bertone: The merit of the conciliar liturgical reform is intact. But both [for reasons of] not losing the great liturgical heritage left by Saint Pius V and for granting the wish of those faithful who desire to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the world* the right to celebrate according to this form. The authorization of the Supreme Pontiff would evidently preserve the validity of the rite of Paul VI. The publication of the motu proprio which specifies this authorisation will take place, but it will be the pope himself who will explain his motivations and the framework of his decision. The Sovereign Pontiff will personally explain his vision for the use of the ancient Missal to the Christian people, and particularly to the Bishops.

*au prêtre du monde entier: literally, to the priest of the whole

It will be interesting to see what explanation is put forward to the bishops. Surely by now even the English bishops will have got wind of what is happening.


John said...

Personally, I love the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin. I'm all in favour of a reform of the reform. Thats the anglo-catholic streak in me!

Fr Michael Brown said...

I`d like to see a reform of the reform too as it would reach more Catholics. That is why Sacramentum Caritatis was rather disappointing as I`d hoped it might have kick-started it.

Aristotle said...

I don't think we should call it an indult. The whole problem with "indult" is that it implies a waiving of the law. This would imply that the traditional Mass is "against the law" but the Pope is waiving the law. That isn't quite right.

The Pope may end up saying that the Church never forbade priests to say the Traditional Latin Mass. How can the Church suppress a Rite of Mass of "Apostolic Tradition"? That's one of the pressing questions. So we maybe should just refer to it as "freeing" the Traditional Mass, or something like that.

John said...

I've always thought it was a real shame that the last gospel was removed in the Novus Ordo missal. Its a great meditation to ponder after communion.

Do you ever celebrate Novus Ordo in Latin?

I first became seriously interested in Catholicism after seeing JPII's funeral, and the Pope's inauguration mass on television, and was struck by the beauty of it. Like High Anglicanism, but with real bishops, instead of liberals and women in mitres!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Aristotle, we have been talking about a universal indult for a long time now. I think the terminology is changing in that talk now is about `the Motu Proprio`. I take your point. The rumours say the traditional Mass is going to be the `extraordinary form of the Roman Rite`. That does sound much better than an indult as it gives it a permanent place in the Church`s liturgical life.
I don`t want to go into the Pope`s rights over the liturgy. Some will say that the Novus Ordo is simply a developed form of the Roman Rite. It depends on what you think is the essence of the Roman Rite and whether you think that that essence has been preserved in the Novus Ordo. I think the distinguishing characteristics of the Roman Rite are to be found in the Novus Ordo as it exists on paper.

Fr Michael Brown said...

John, it is a long time since I said a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin. It must have been 1992 at the English College where they had a monthly Latin Novus Ordo. I try to avoid it because at my advanced age I get easily confused if trying to do another liturgy in Latin apart from the Tridentine. Another reason is that I believe that the Novus Ordo was meant to be a vernacular liturgy and, to be honest, I can imagine nothing more distracting for a congregation than to have to listen to the Eucharistic prayer said out loud in Latin, espeially if it isn`t the Roman Canon but maybe Eucharistic Prayer 2 of reconciliation or something like that. There are also the parts of the Novus Ordo where the priest is instructed to say things `in these or similar words`. Improvising in Latin isn`t going to be popular with the congregation either! I`m quite happy to introduce Latin chants to the NO but I`m not convinced of the desirability of Latin for the rest of the Mass.

Anonymous said...

The Novus Ordo mass in Latin works quite well at the Oxford Oratory and also at St. Etheldred's Holborn where Fr. Cunningham says Mass with his back to the people and also uses some of the settings from the old Mass - such as the Asperges. I suppose it is a bit of a hybrid but it means he can say a Mass similar in feel without special permission - which he wouldn't get for a regular Sunday Mass.