Saturday, July 07, 2007


The website of the bishops of the USA has acknowledged the issue of the Motu Proprio today and has even provided a commentary courtesy of their liturgy committee. Nothing as yet from the bishops of England and Wales. The only diocese in England and Wales to have news about the Motu proprio on its website today is the diocese of Northampton and that was published on Friday. It will be interesting to see what Monday brings.

UPDATE 08.07.07. There is a response on the Westminster website.


Anonymous said...

Maybe there's nothing on the E&W bishops' conference site because, as with most liturgical instructions from Rome, "it doesn't apply in England and Wales". All is well here!

Putting something on the site would only give extra work to the hard-pressed folks at Eccleston Sq. And we wouldn't want to do that, would we?

Anonymous said...

hmmm I had sight of this press release earlier:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said:

““On behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales I welcome the Holy Father’s call for unity within the Church and especially towards those who are very attached to celebrating the Mass according to the Missal of 1962.

“We are confident that the provisions already made throughout England and Wales under the indult granted back in 1971 go a significant way towards meeting the requirements of the new Norms. We foresee little difficulty in receiving and carrying out the Pope’s teaching about the two forms of the celebration of the Eucharist. There will of course be some priests who may not know immediately how best to respond to genuine requests for the extraordinary rite. The Norms are perfectly clear that the responsibility lies with the Bishop and where appropriate for him to refer to the Holy See for assistance and advice.

“In Westminster, I have readily given permission for the celebration of Mass according to the John XXIII Missal in some churches in our Diocese. So I was glad to be among those consulted by the Holy Father before he issued this document and to share with fellow Bishops from around the world our experiences in England and Wales in this matter. The situation is very different in almost every country, and we were united with the Holy Father in his desire for reconciliation and for unity in prayer and belief.

“I am confident that the Bishops of England and Wales are well placed to implement this timely Letter and the Norms which clarify the universal discipline of the Church.”
and some editor's notes:

The publication of the Roman Missal in 1962 was the last before the Second Vatican Council which initiated a renewal in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is this edition, the Roman Missal (or Missale Romanum in Latin) of 1962, which is permitted for use by those who wish to use this form of the Mass.

It was a final revision of the text which was first published in 1570 by Pope Paul V as a result of the Council of Trent. This Council of the Church was called to respond to the Reformation which had affected northern Europe. It sought a reform of the liturgy to provide a common, unified text for the Church; made possible by developments in printing. The text is some times referred to as the Tridentine Rite. A Rite refers a family of texts — in this case the Roman Rite.

Characteristics of the Roman Missal of 1962 are:

It is celebrated in Latin.
The celebration is focused on the sanctuary.
The priest faces East in the same direction as the congregation.
There are precise directions for the priest on how he should conduct himself.
It is associated with the music of plainchant.
It is only in the 20th Century that the idea of participation by the congregation developed.
Some of these characteristics continue to be true of the current Mass such that it can be celebrated in Latin and that plainchant continues to be used.
I notice that it isn't available on the BCEW website yet.

Anonymous said...

Might I humbly suggest that folks consider putting one of these on the backs of their cars? They're a great way to show solidarity with our Holy Father. Viva il papa!

Lawrence Lew OP said...

I'd love to know what the reaction is in our English seminaries, especially the northern seminary!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks anonymous. Interesting to see a stress on the pivotal role of the bishop. I thought the whole point of the document was to delegate the decision down to parish priests.

Fr Michael Brown said...

ll, I too will be very interested in the reaction of the northern seminary. I`m told that they study Latin there now but find it hard to believe and I don`t know any students there to ask.

Lawrence Lew OP said...

I do, and none of them have mentioned this... 3 years ago, Latin was taught by a kindly Anglican gentleman, at the request of a small group of students. This was granted on condition that it was a quiet, private arrangement. Perhaps this is what was meant?

Someone else I know - a good, sound, orthodox lad - went on selection conference this year and was given Hell.