Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Motu Proprio Rumours

Fr. Z has rumors, confirmations and educated guesses.
That SMS is the third confirmation I have gotten. So, I feel safer about saying what I am piecing together. Remember: this is based reliable sources but it is still supposition on my part. I sift the exaggerated stuff out and try to get a consistent picture. In no special order…
1) The document will definitely be a Motu Proprio. (That means it will be from the Pope and not a document of a Congregation or joint document issued by different dicasteries.)
2) At the beginning of November it was in its final draft, after four revisions.
3) During the third week of November it was suggested that the document might come out in about three weeks. This would put it around… well… now.

13 comments:

veronica said...

Its forty years since the Tridentine Rite was given up. In that time two generations have risen who only know the Novus Ordo. Naturally there are some who would like to have it more freely available but they are a vocal minority, irrespective of age. I hope this motu proprio comes soon, not because I want the old Mass back, but because it will show how little demand there is for it. Many good orthodox priests now in their late-sixties have never said it, don't know how to, and don't want to, and this applies to most ordained since the Novus Ordo came into effect. The Tridentine Rite has gone and when the motu proprio is promulgated not only will it show how few want it, more significantly it will silence those who demand it. Let it be used in obscure circumstances by all means, but let it also rest in peace. Its now little more than a distraction.

Augustinus said...

"Its now little more than a distraction." What an unfortunate phrase to use regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the form of liturgy which nourished our fore-fathers.

Time will tell whether or not the renewed availability of the Old Mass will gain a popular following in the UK. However, all the indications of the present state of the Church, certainly in this country and the West generally, point to two things: (1) - a steep decline in religious practice among Catholics in the average parish, and (2) - a continuing rise in the number of people (particularly young people and familes) following the Old Rite and all the attendant religious practices which that rite spawns.

Alongside these two phenomena there seem to be two corresponding responses which have episcopal support: (1) merger of parishes in the face of declining numbers of priests (with little hard evidence of a strong episcopal drive to increase vocations - though a lot is done by some dedicated Vocations Directors) and (2) a general refusal to allow priests of the Vatican-approved traditonal orders (eg FSSP and ICSK) to operate in parishes in this country.

I wonder why things are as they are and whether there is any connection between the two sets of data.

Veronica said...

Why do I describe the Tridentine Rite as a distraction? Terrible things have happened to the Church since Vatican II, and worse in the world. Yes, we have falling congregations and parishes are being merged. Have you thought why? Its not necessarily due to the abandonment of the old Mass but to the increase in secularism and materialism, more to the second than the first. Most of our bishops are a pedestrian lot but they were appointed by the Vatican and what does that say about Vatican policies? Few young men are coming forward to offer themselves to the priesthood a) because they find the life unattractive in a materialistic society but b) because the laity as a whole take no notice of the Church's teaching on contraception and have had small families. The vocations don't exist because there are fewer to respond to them. This is a demographic problem that affects occupations in society at large. Our churches would be emptier if it were not for immigration. That's why town churches are fuller than country ones, hence the need for merging parishes. With fewer children there is no future. Even if the FSSP and ICSK were given parishes in this country they would only create side shows. Look at the FSSP parish in Edinburgh, very few people actually go and those that do come from far and wide. Have you seen the photographs in Videre Petrum? No, its not becase of the loss of the old Mass that the Church is failing, there are more serious reasons. Much can be blamed on the way Vatican II was implemented in the early years, especially the loss of catechesis, but that, thank God,is gradually being reversed. I can't wait for the motu proprio to be promulgated because it will enable the Church at large to implement the teaching of Pope John Paul II and our present Holy Father. That's why, Augustinus, I regard the Tridentine Rite as a distraction. One last point, a few people say that the FSSP and ICSK seminaries are full and European ones empty, hence this is a sign of where the Church is going. It's not. These seminaries are small affairs that draw their students from all over the world. When the men are ordained they are dispersed into a huge Church where they are more less lost except in large cities, or they become chaplains to groups of cranks. Hence the establishment of the side shows. Many will become disillusioned men but I hope they will transfer their strength to more worthwhile causes and not become atheists.

Anonymous said...

This is becoming spicy.

roydosan said...

Veronica, I think the 'renewal' of the Church since Vatican II speaks for itself. The bulk of my family (not especially religious people, but practising Catholics none-the-less), along with countless thousands of others,left the Church after the abandonment of the Tridentine Mass. Unless I had, by chance, happened to discover it myself, I'm sure I would have remained outside the Church as well. You say there is no demand for the Tridentine Mass, well I say to you that there is no demand for the Novus Ordo Mass. The reason most young people are not in favour of the Tridentine Mass is often simply down to the fact that they have never attended one because the bishops have virtually prohibited it. Only when there is a level playing field and the bigoted outlook of those who deride it as the preserve of "groups of cranks".

roydosan said...

... will we see if it is as unpopular as you claim.

Blogger missed off the last part of my text.

Veronica said...

I think I have already made myself clear but one (I hope) final word. We all know the bad way some of the Vatican II reforms have been implemented, but chaos follows most Councils. St Charles Borromeo was nearly killed by priests opposed to his reforms, and St Robert Bellarmine had a bad time in his home diocese, Montepulciano, when he was appointed bishop. So it goes on. The difference between those times and ours is that then Europe believed, now it no longer does. In a world of unbelief yearning for the past is a luxury few can afford. Once I was sympathetic to people who missed the Tridentine Rite and that was because I did not know many. Since moving to London I have attended a few Old Rite Masses but I have been amazed by the odd people who go to them. Some are quite normal, but others are not only weird but nasty. If you want to find bigotry you need look no further. This suggests a psychopathological basis rather than a spiritual one. It worries me that young people should encounter such people and come under their influence. The few I have met who have were funny in the first place but have got worse since. And some of those young priests who belong to FSSP and ICSK are even stranger and more off-putting. They seem to lack basic humanity and I wonder about their mental stability. Perhaps the motu proprio will encourage a healthier type but I suppose you realise, Roydosan (such an unusual name), that if the Tridentine Rite is to become more generally available the majority of priests in this country will have to go on courses to learn how to say it. As fewer read Latin this is going to be an even greater problem. Sorry, if it comes the old Mass is likely to be found in nooks and crannies than in the Church at large. I still think, let it rast in peace.

Marcus said...

One London priest who celebrates the Tridentine Mass says "Ah the Mass we love for the people who hate"
The chief reason I want the Motu Proprio is because it is unjust not to allow it.
I do think that if we treat people as second class citizens within the Church they tend to become cranky and have a persecution complex.

roydosan said...

I'm sorry that you have encountered 'oddpeople'at Tridentine Masses but that is surely irrelevant. I'm sure you will find cranks at all different types of church services. This is hardly a reason to prohibit the Tridentine Mass. And as for FSSP priests lacking basic humanity - this is the complete opposite of my experience and I have met many seminarians from both the US and German seminaries. Those who would seek to banish the Trid Mass are the ones who are lacking in the humanity and emotional stability stakes if you ask me. THe attitude of 'I don't want to attend this and I am going to stop those who want to attend from doing so' is absolutely indefensible and shameful.

Anonymous said...

Veronica,
I think that there is something about congregations in the inner city, which is Tridentine Masses tend to be offered. I have seen my parish priest and the deacon being harrangued and insulted by people quite unnecessarily and when they have begged for people to become involved in things they simply ignore him. I think it something to do with living alone, rather than the rite.
Maybe the Tridentine Rite attracts people who are alone because, it is a rite that involves little sense of community, it is God alone that is the focus.
That of course doesn't mean the rite is bad but that it is needed and has something to offer particular people.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the punctation etc in the last comment, it is difficult in this box and with this type.

Veronica said...

It is indefensible to insult or harangue a priest, whatever his position. A polite approach usually succeeds better. I respect people who seek anonymity in church and don't want to be roped into other activities. Sorry to labour this point, but that's where the nooks and crannies come in. They provide a refuge for these people. Fr Ray has said how small the attendance is at the Triedentine Rite Masses in his parish and it is good of him to provide them but, obstinately I realise, I don't think the motu proprio, if it comes, will make a scrap of difference, Fr Tim Finegan thinks that it might influence a better standard of celebrating the present Rome Rite. We shall have to see. As for Roydosan's comments about priests who disourage the old Mass. You don't have to take any notice of them as it is legiti8mately available for the few who want it.

Fr Ray Blake said...

The number attending the Tridentine Mass from my parish is quite small but the vast majority of the people who attend are from outside of the parish. They come from the other 10 Brighton parishes and even further afield. There is also an increasing number of students who have started to hear about it.