Friday, March 20, 2009

Ecclesia Dei Commission goes into action

I spotted this story from Clerical Whispers on the Catholic Church Conservation blog. It seems some dioceses are still having trouble understanding Summorum Pontificum and rather hoping it might all just go away.
The Ecclesia Dei Commission has responded to requests from the faithful in Killala diocese for provision of a Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The Council of Priests voted against provision being made and the bishop accepted this advice. Anumber of priests and faithful were unhappy about this decision. I wonder why those priests who were unhappy did not just start saying the Mass anyway as the decision to do so is in their hands since Summorum Pontificum. The story continues:

The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, headed by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, then wrote to Bishop Fleming insisting that the restriction was forbidden under Church law since Pope Benedict had made universal provision for the availability of the Mass in the extraordinary form.

In its letter, the Commission insisted that neither Bishop Fleming, nor the Council of Priests, had the right to place a restriction on a right approved by the Pope.

Bishop Fleming has now designated the Church of the Assumption, Ardagh, Crossmolina, Co Mayo as the centre for the traditional Mass in the Killala diocese and the celebrant will be Fr John Loftus, a priest of the diocese.
So things do get done and the Ecclesia Dei Commission can make a difference. Hurrah!

12 comments:

FrankE said...

It still seems that Bishop Fleming still wants to control the situation in the diocese, by designating a particular church and celebrant for the EF, doesn't it?
Still, he's had his knuckles rapped, which can't be a bad thing...

old believer said...

It sounds like something out of Orwell's '1984' and a childish 'I'm telling on you'.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Old Believer are you denying the faithful the right of appeal?

Fr Michael Brown said...

Or is it that you think it is ok for bishops to deny the faithful their rights and obstruct the law of the Church?

Colin said...

This is the best news I've heard in a long time and I congradulate the group who took action and Ecclesia Dei for their directive which is very clear and which echoes SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM which is very clear in
"Article 5.
1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. "

old believer said...

It is not for me to deny anyone any putative right - I have no jurisdiction in the matter. The current attitude however of treating Bishops as some sort of 'left footers' to be reported to Rome to me is indicative of a deeper malaise.

When will you be reporting your new Bishop for something he says or does you do not like?

Fr Michael Brown said...

There`s nothing putative about it. I don`t understand your problem. Do you deny the universal jurisdiction of the pope? Bishops are also under obedience.

gemoftheocean said...

I would keep an eye on this bishop to see if he retaliates by waiting some months and then transferring Fr. Loftus to the boondocks. Sad to say but sometimes the worst type of vindictivness comes from clergy to other clergy.

old believer said...

Now, now, Dr.Brown don't get your fanon in a twist, shame on you!

Au contraire there is everything about such an appalling piece of psuedo-legislation that should, strongly, be objected too.

Your, apparent, grovelling attitude to something that has been clearly arugued against by competent scholars such as Huels, Cameron-Mowat and Grillo is a disgrace.

Prior to 2007 please show me any Latin traditionalist who argued that the 1962 missal, in contrast to that of 1570, had never been abrogated. This putative claim made by Summorum Pontificum clearly sorts the wheat from the chaff, the latter of which ostensibly you choose to identify yourself with.

Allow me to challenge you to a public debate on the erroneous claim of Summoroum Pontificum that the 1962 missal was not abrogated. I am happy to face you on any reasonable terms you care to name knowing this absolute lie Summorum Pontificum contains.

Again, shame on you. Do you really consider Christianity only became establihsed in these islands with your Roman pretentions?

old believer said...

Au contraire there ise verything putatitve about it.

The central assertion of SP is that the 1962 missal was never 'juridically abrogated'. No supporter of the 1962 missal has yet come forward to give an even semi-coherent argument to support this assertion. On the other hand numerous scholars such as Huels, Grillo and Cameron-Mowat, to name but three, have argued that the assertion is patently false. Perhaps you would publish an article in SP's defence?

The Latin Mass Society, and many other traditionalists, prior to SP, made a, convincing, argument that the Pius V missal, not the 1962 rite, had never been abrogated and that, to quote Neri Capponi, "by virtue of established custom, all celebrants should be free to use it and all the faithful to take part in it". Now in order to conform to the latest Roman fashion all those arguments have bee dropped. Apart from the issue of apparent falsehood this is a dangerous course to steer: what, for example, happens when a future dictat from Rome orders the current Calendar?

The entire concept of sneaking on the local bishop is a distasteful and evil one. The bishop is, as even SP's accompanying letter states, in charge of his diocese with regard to liturgy and other matters. Bishop Fleming clearly followed best practice in terms of consultation with his clergy and came to a reasonable decision. A decision I would have considered appropriate on the grounds of good taste if nothing else.

Dr. Brown please ask yourself a simple question. What would your reaction, and feelings be, if someone was unhappy about aspects of your ministry, kept notes and then wrote to +Seamus and/or Rome? I cannot imagine you would be serene about the situation and rightly so.

Fr Michael Brown said...

I can`t see the point of someone with such an interest in pre-conciliar liturgy being opposed to SP. What do you expect to happen: that SP would have denounced the 1962 missal in favour of 1955 or some earlier edition? It`s not going to happen. On a practical level if there is no SP then all we have is the OF with all it`s endless additions. That`s the choice in parish life. I can only imagine that parish life is not high on your list of priorities.

Fr Michael Brown said...

The right is not putative because it is now the law of the church. As you well know I wrote my canon law tesina on whether it was abrogated partly because I was annoyed at eminent cardinals saying it had not been abrogated but not explaining how that was. I decided it was not abrogated but was obrogated. However the 1986 commisssion of cardinals came to the conclusion it was not even that. Among those cardinals was cardinal Stickler who was at least as eminent, if not more so, a canonist and scholar as those you mention.

I would dearly love to see how the non-abrogation argument works but maybe never will. It doesn`t now matter the case has been decided. That`s how canon law works. I don`t need to publish anything. I prefer to work for the advancement of Summorum Pontificum.

As for having letters written about my ministry that in fact has happened. At a public meeting to discuss the future of the Latin Mass at St Joseph`s before I left Mass just before I left the parish, it was announced that there had been letters of complaint against me. I knew nothing about these letters and don`t know what they said. I was given no opportunity to respond to the complaints. This is a denial of natural justice. At least when bishops are denounced they get some idea what the complaint is about.

There is always a right of redress against a superior in canon law. Bishops are under obedience too. Justice dictates that the accused know what the charge is and has an opportunity to respond.