Friday, September 26, 2008

Catholics have a juridical right to Gregorian Rite, priests & bishops “must accept” their requests

By Brian Kopp

TNLM posted today the Press Release regarding the publication of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described edited by Dr. Alcuin Reid:

September 26, 2008

Press Release: Vatican Cardinal commends Continuum Book on Old Rite Mass

Alcuin Parish priests and bishops “must accept” the requests of Catholics who ask for the older (Latin) form of the Mass, a senior Vatican official has said. This is “the express will” of the Pope, “legally established,” which “must be respected by ecclesiastical superiors and local ordinaries [bishops] alike,” he insisted. Hoyos continued, stating that “all seminaries” should provide training in the old form of the Mass “as a matter of course.”

Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos ―the man charged with implementing Pope Benedict’s liberalisation of the Latin Mass and other rites as celebrated before the Second Vatican Council―made these remarks in a preface to the forthcoming edition of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, the standard English manual on how to celebrate the older rites, released yesterday.

Hoyos commended the book―the fifteenth edition since it was first published by the English priest Dr Adrian Fortescue in 1917―edited by the London based “distinguished liturgical scholar” Dr Alcuin Reid as “a reliable tool for the preparation and celebration of the liturgical rites” that Pope Benedict has authoritatively decreed may now freely be used. The volume is due for publication by Continuum/Burns & Oates by the end of 2008.

Alcuin Reid, speaking from London, said: “The honour that the Cardinal has accorded this book underlines the importance of the older forms of the Mass and sacraments in Pope Benedict’s overall renewal of the liturgical life of the Catholic Church.” He continued, “We’re at a critical moment in the history of the liturgy, and taking away restrictions on the celebration of the older rites enables them to contribute to, and even re-inform the quality of, Catholic worship worldwide.” Continuum’s London Publishing Director, Robin Baird-Smith, added: “We’re delighted that this title has returned to the Burns and Oates imprint, and to be publishing such an important volume at this time.”

Adrian Fortescue, J.B. O’Connell & Alcuin Reid, The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described will be published in October 2008 (December 2008 in the United States).

TNLM also posted the Preface:

From the new edition of the Ceremonies, here is Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos' preface:

It is a pleasure for me to present this fifteenth edition of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, the first edition to appear since the Motu Proprio of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, dated 7th July 2007, definitively clarified that the rites according to the liturgical books in use in 1962 were never abrogated and that they truly constitute a treasure that belongs to the entire Catholic Church and should be widely available to all of Christ’s faithful. It is now clear that Catholics have a juridical right to the more ancient liturgical rites, and that parish priests and bishops must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who ask for it. This is the express will of the Supreme Pontiff, legally established in Summorum Pontificum in a manner that must be respected by ecclesiastical superiors and local ordinaries alike. [NLM Emphasis]

The Holy Father is pleased at the generous response of many priests to his initiative in learning once again the rites and ceremonies of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the other sacraments according to the usus antiquior so that they may serve those people who desire them. I encourage priests to do so in a spirit of pastoral generosity and love for the liturgical heritage of the Roman Rite. Seminarians, as part of their formation in the liturgy of the Church, should also become familiar with this usage of the Roman Rite not only in order to serve the People of God who request this form of Catholic worship but also in order to have a deeper appreciation of the background of the liturgical books presently in force. Hence it follows that all seminaries should provide such training as a matter of course. [NLM Emphasis]

This book, a classic guide to the celebration of the Church’s ancient Gregorian Rite in the English-speaking world, will serve priests and seminarians of the twenty-first century – just as it served so many priests of the twentieth – in their pastoral mission, which now necessarily includes familiarity with and openness to the use of the older form of the sacred liturgy. I happily commend it to the clergy, seminarians and laity as a reliable tool for the preparation and celebration of the liturgical rites authoritatively granted by the Holy Father in Summorum Pontificum.

I congratulate the distinguished liturgical scholar, Dr. Alcuin Reid, for his care and precision in ensuring that this revised edition conforms to the latest authoritative decisions with regard to these liturgical rites. As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his letter which accompanied Summorum Pontificum: “In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.” The Gregorian Rite is today a living liturgical rite which will continue its progress without losing any of its riches handed on in tradition. For as the Holy Father continued, “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” May this book assist the Church of today and of tomorrow in realising Pope Benedict’s vision.

Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos
Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
25 September 2008
Hopefully, this is a precursor to the type of language we can expect in the PCED "clarification" of Summorum Pontificum.


Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

The emphasis in this posting is on the term 'must accept'. But *what*, exactly, must the priests and bishops accept? They must accept laics petitions or their requests. Accepting a request is not the same thing as granting a request. Hence this new law does not offer faithful an ironclad guarantee of anything. We need to stress this so that we don't discover it the hard way.

What S.P. gives laics the right to is a juridical process, not a Mass. Yes, they must respect lay petitioners and must accept their petitions. And there is an established process to review those petitions. But they do not need to offer Traditional Rite Masses if priests are not willing and able to do so. That can be discerned from other laws curently in force.

More interesting is Article 1 of S.P. I have argued recently that, under it, each diocesan bishop has a primary duty (i.e. a duty more immediate than that of anyone else) to ensure that there is at least one *daily* (not just Sunday) celebration of the Traditional Mass in his see EVEN IF NOBODY REQUESTS IT. THis is because the old Mass MUST be given its "due honour for its venerable and ancient usage". Should many local bishops be unwilling or unable to provide this, it then becomes the duty of the Universal Pastor to use his power of immediate jurisdiction to assist such bishops. This can be done by creating a universal ordinary structure--a personal and universal diocese--for tradition. It would be restricted to the offering of the ancient Mass and would therefore not infringe on local bishops' authority in providing New Masses. Its purpose would be to assist local bishops in the performance of a duty which emanates from the law itself.

This is the line we should be following. What S.P. gives is a true right to priests, not to laics, and even this is restricted by other laws, although we can say that bishops no longer have an absolute right to ban our Mass.

But S.P. also imposes a DUTY on local bishops to do their utmost to provide at least one daily T.L.M. in each of their dioceses. Why? It is because the normal locus of the Church is the diocese, from which the universal Church proceeds. The authority from that claim is embedded, ironically, in key Vatican II documents!