Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hints of Things To Come

By Patrick Archbold

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has obtained a letter from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in response to a dubia. This response contains some very interesting hints of things to come in the forthcoming clarifying document. Damian Thompson expresses his joy here. See the full text of the letter below:

Dear Dr. ...

We wish to acknowledge your letter of 29 September 2007 and beg your indulgence for not having managed to respond sooner due to the volume of mail which we have received since the promulgation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the many matter which have required our immediate attention.

With regard to your dubia, we respond as follows:

  1. Candidates for the priesthood in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church have the right to be instructed in both forms of the Roman Rite.
  2. Those responsible for the formation of candidates for the priesthood in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church should provide for the instruction of their candidates in both forms of the Roman Rite.

We expect that these matters will soon be treated in an instruction on the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

With prayerful best wishes I remain.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Msgr. Camille Perl



Jim said...

"should provide" is weak language. Hopefully the clarifying document will use "will provide." Using the weaker "should" leaves the door open for the loopholers to do their work. "While technically we should provide this education, unfortunately at this time we find it impossible."

Patrick Archbold said...

Until Pope Benedict signs the document, all he can really say is should. I wouldn't be too pessimistic.

Aristotle said...

I hope that this does not mean that groups that have the specific charism that includes only the traditional form will not be therefore forced to include instruction in the new rite. Forcing the FSSP and ICK and other groups to train priests in the Novus Ordo will effectively ruin negotiations with the SSPX.

David L Alexander said...

I suppose now that we know this, we'll expect such training to be offered immediately, and that failure to do so will invariably be a sign of a modernist conspiracy. Anyone who has ever spent one day of their lives associated with a university, or other institution of higher learning, should know better. I will probably take at least two or three years for the average seminary to offer this training. For one thing, they have to hire someone just to teach how it's done. Then there's the totality of the traditional form of the rite that goes with it -- the calendar, the ritual, and other practices associated with the TLM.

Most priests who are being trained now are learning, quite literally, "on the job." I know; I work with them. While I'm learning to be a master of ceremonies, they're learning to be celebrants. I've even been known to be asked, for example, how many times a relic on the high altar is to be incensed. (It's two doubles for each, by the way.)

People should keep this sort of thing in perspective.

Patrick T. said...

Seminarians should be required to study Latin. It is the official language of the Church, and it has been the language of theology for centuries.

I am not a priest, but I am studying Latin from some old high school textbooks (Latin For Americans). Even a little Latin is worthwhile.

Both of my older brothers were required to take Latin all through high school and college. But, it all went out the window in the 60s.

It will take time for things to change. I have said all along that we need at least 5 years to see results from the MP.

Anonymous said...

Jim, our first poster, made an extremely good point. I have noticed over the years the tendency of the P.C.E.D. and other organs of the Holy See to use 'should' when it want to fudge about obligation. In English, 'should' has a strong and a weak sense, but which one is intended. Americans, I have noticed, tend to use the strong sense a bit more often than do others, as in 'You really should (i.e. a polite 'must') leave now'. Canadians and others use the weak sense more often, as in 'This should (might) work'.

Keep in mind that, when it comes to documents expressing obligations, the one receiving the document has the right to assume the minimum obligation expressed.


Anonymous said...

I am writing from Milan, Italy, and you know, of course, that we have not the Roman rite but the Anbrosian one.
So I am astonished: Mgr. Pearl should have written Latin rite instead of Roman...

David L Alexander said...

Patrick is right about things taking several years to happen. While instruction in Latin for priestly formation is required by canon law, many seminaries are ill-equipped to teach it as it should be taught, often offering only a minimum, or as an elective.

To put it to any Latinists here, what is Latin for "should," and would it have the force of saying "must"?