Saturday, June 2, 2007

Motu Proprio News: UK Telegraph says....June 2 - today

I needed to take a blogging break due to a heavier than expected work schedule. Even my house looks like.....well, I won't be inviting any one over for a while.

We won't hold our breath today and even Fr. Z has his doubts about the release of the motu proprio suggested for today (his post was written yesterday). But, this article in the Telegraph (UK) is rather interesting. I'll give you Fr. Z's version, which has his emphases in bold, and comments in red.

Holy Smoke
by Damian Thompson

A senior figure in the Vatican, a monsignor close to the Pope, has been told that the long-awaited motu proprio lifting restrictions on the Tridentine Latin Mass will be issued tomorrow.

The Latin Mass
A profound and numinous experience

I’ve cried wolf on this subject before, so don’t bet on it – but the announcement seems imminent, and traditionalists MUST be ready to react the second the document appears.

For, make no mistake about it, liberal European bishops – including English ones – already have a strategy in place to smother the Pope’s ruling. My guess is that the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales will try to claim that the motu proprio won’t make much difference in practice, that there already lots of Old Masses celebrated, that there’s not much demand for any more, etc etc.

Be very suspicious. If this ruling is just a minor adjustment, why have the ageing trendies in the Church fought tooth and nail to try to stop Pope Benedict issuing the document? [Exactly!]

We don’t know the contents of the motu proprio, but it is expected to curb the power of local bishops to restrict [Which would make it historic, in a sense. It would be a document that favors priests rather than bishops.] the celebration of the Tridentine Rite, in which the priest celebrates Mass facing in the same direction as the congregation – eastwards, towards a symbolic Jerusalem.

To my mind, this Mass, in which the celebrant says the Latin words of the canon sotto voce – the “blessed mutter” – is one of the most profound and numinous experiences in the history of worship, [Very well put.] so different from the game-show mateyness of modern services.

I hope the media will grasp the magnitude of the cultural shift signified by Benedict’s decision to restore parity to the Old Rite, and will put the Bishops of England and Wales (and those of America and Europe) on the spot.

The motu proprio may contain an opt-out clause which allows a local bishop to refuse to grant permission for the Old Rite, sending the decision to Rome (which will grant it in most cases). [Cunctando regitur mundus. Gosh! How popular will that move make a bishop?]

If [IF] this clause exists, each bishop must be asked: will you be one of those invoking it, and therefore forcing traditional Catholics to go through some sort of appeals process? [RIGHT! "Which list do you want to on, Your Excellency?"]

Once the ruling is out, I’d like to see a detailed response from every bishop in this country, so we can work out which dioceses are prepared to enter into the spirit of Pope Benedict’s reform – and, equally, which ones will surreptitiously try to ignore it.

There were already 48 comments at Fr. Z's blog at the time I mad this post. If you want to read those, in addition to what is here, go read: Motu Propio Guess - June 2 (tomorrow)

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