Friday, May 13, 2011

Universae Ecclesiae

I am very pleased with the instruction issued today on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. The fears that it may have sought to restrict the use of the traditional Mass were unfounded. Nothing about the Ambrosian or Mozarabic rites but green light for religious to use their traditional missals. It is rather disappointing but you can read the reaction of the English bishops as voiced by archbishop Nichols here. Good to hear that they have noticed the absurdity of Ascension Sunday and the destruction of the twelve days of Christmas and we may see sanity restored. Friday abstinence will be restored from September 16th too.

Next week Cardinal Raymond Burke of the Apostolic Signatura comes to England, to Harrogate in particular, for the Canon Law Society annual conference. It will be interesting to hear his opinion on the new document if the opportunity arises.


Fr Gary Dickson said...

Although the Instruction is indeed good on many points, it does merely reiterate what we all knew Summorum Pontificum stated. What is disappointing is that it only says seminarians ‘should’ be formed in the 1962 Rites and then only ‘if pastoral needs suggest it’. I cannot understand how a seminarian can be formed to preside using only one half of the Church’s legitimate liturgical books. I suggest that the pastoral need is not as many will promote it, i.e., that of some people desiring the 1962 Rites, but a justice issue of preserving the treasures of the Church for future generations. It is unjust and perhaps morally wrong for any generation to decide what future generations will be denied when the object in question is a sacred rite of the Church -particularly since the Church has all power to forbid what is evil but no authority to forbid what is holy.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Father, I couldn`t agree more. This reminds me of the same Vincent NIchols in 1997 who announced that the Vatican instruction on the co-operation of the laity with the priesthood didn`t apply in England and Wales as the abuses mentioned there didn`t happen here. Now we have Paul Inwood`s own admission that many abuses occur to this day.

The pastoral need as you say is that a priest learns to use all the options of the Roman rite. If there is a Q & A session with Cardinal Burke at Harrogate, I hope it comes up.

David O'Neill said...

Having come out of my locked house in Jerusalem, Father, & having returned to this planet, I plan to read all that the document says &, hopefully, to have it implemented as widely as possible

John F H H said...

Father, as I wrote elsewhere [reproduced below] the definitive Latin text is somewhat stronger than the English translations. In particular the word pastoral in the English translation in Para 21 only appears in the translations.
Here is what I wrote elsewhere:
May I draw your attention the weakening in places of the English translation from the Latin which has been highlighted elsewhere in the internet?
In particular, in paragraphs 21 & 22:

21 – Ordinarii enixe rogantur ut clericis instituendis occasionem praebeant accommodatam artem celebrandi in forma extraordinaria acquirendi, quod potissimum pro Seminariis valet, in quibus providebitur ut sacrorum alumni convenienter instituantur, Latinum discendo sermonem et, adiunctis id postulantibus, ipsam Ritus Romani formam extraordinariam.
21. Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.

enixe means vigorously, zealously, strongly. artem celebrandi "the skill/work/art/fashion/science/ manner of celebrating" is probably best left untranslated as the technical term ars celebrandi. potissimum means above all.

Thus, one may translate:
21. Ordinaries are urged to provide for their clergy the appropriate opportunity[/means] of acquiring the ars celebrandi in the extraordinary form. This, above all, has force for Seminaries, where, in order that students of the sacred be properly instructed, it shall be provided by the learning of the Latin language,and, as circumstances demand it, [by learning] the ars celebrandi in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

In Paragraph 21 .fas, can also bear the meaning "sacred duty". Thus
22 – In Dioecesibus ubi desint sacerdotes idonei, fas est Episcopis dioecesanis iuvamen a sacerdotibus Institutorum a Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei erectorum exposcere, sive ut celebrent, sive ut ipsam artem celebrandi doceant

may also be translated:
In Dioceses where there is a lack of qualified priests, it is the sacred duty of diocesan Bishops to entreat assistance from priests of Institutes erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, either to celebrate, or to teach the ars celebrandi [in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite].

The last phrase is not in the Latin - might it apply therefore to the Latin language in general?

Kind regards,
Johm U.K.

Simon Platt said...

I think - I hope - that Fr Dickinson's pessimism might be unfounded.

For example, when he writes "it reiterates what we all knew. . ." I would agree, but I think it very hopeful that the meaning of Summorum Pontificum has been made explicit in response to the attempt by some, including powerful clerics, to misinterpret it. And in respect of the weak treatment in the English translation of bishops' responsibilities for seminary training, Fr Z. has something very interesting to say:

Seeker said...

Forgive me for taking a little bit of a tangential view of this, but of the various items of news relevant to Catholics this week, I though the Bishop's messages on fasting, celebrating the Pope's visit, and invitation to lapsed Catholics were by far more important than the instruction, which was after all just a reiteration of the MP, with some gentle emphasis for the hard of hearing. I've seen very little of these messages discussed in the blogosphere despite it being far more relevant and important both to Catholics and those we would evangelise. Is it just me?

FrankE said...

Fr Dickson said:-
"Although the Instruction is indeed good on many points, it does merely reiterate what we all knew Summorum Pontificum stated. What is disappointing is that it only says seminarians ‘should’ be formed in the 1962 Rites..."

Surely, Father, if the Vatican says something "should" be done, prelates in particular really _ought_ to do it, out of respect for Mother Church.

1569 Rising said...


It strikes me sometimes that the E&W Bishops somehow don't understand English, let alone Latin. To them, "should" and "ought" means "not in my back yard"

Pax Vobis said...

It is about time we returned to Roma locuta est causa finita est. Of course seminarians should be instructed in both forms of the rite; are they not two usages of the one Roman rite? Would a tutor at a teacher training college teach the students about English Grammar and omit English Literature because he/she personally didn't care for it?

The Holy Father at the top of the tree says both forms of the Roman rite are of equal value. Many seminarians at the bottom of the tree want to learn both forms. However, it is the middlemen sitting comfortably in the branches who are disobeying the Pope and deciding what is best for the future priests and their congregations - us (if any are left in 10 years time). However, what they think is best has decimated the Church, and their opinions no longer have any real value or authority. I must stop here or I really would say something I might regret.