Saturday, 5 December 2009

Latin Mass in Every Parish

The Open Door is a Catholic Magazine that is distributed in Parishes across North Kildare. This week it carried this article:

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Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to celebrate a regular Tridentine-rite Mass.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos told a press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood be trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass.

The Cardinal, who was visiting London at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite of the 1962Roman Missal, said it was "absolute ignorance" to think that the Pope was trying to reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

"The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was involved in the preparation for the council, is acting exactly in the way of the council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration," he said.

Cardinal Castrillon said the Holy Father wants all parishes to celebrate Mass in the Latin rite. "All the parishes", he said, "not many, all parishes, because this is a gift of God. It is very important for new generations to know the past of the church," said Cardinal Castrillon, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," which works to help separated traditionalist Catholics return to the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a directive allowing all Catholic priests to celebrate the Latin Mass and uses the older ritual himself for private Masses, saying ‘it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.’

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Inside the same issue they carried this announcement:

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The Tridentine Mass will be celebrated in Celbridge parish church on the evening of Tuesday December 8th, feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at 7.00pm.

This traditional form of the Mass, which will be remembered by older parishioners, is celebrated with the priest facing the altar and using the Latin form for all the liturgical prayers.

Holy Communion is received in a kneeling position and on the tongue. The rite of the Tridentine Mass does not incorporate any of the changes and additions made in the decades after Vatican Council II.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict is urging all parishes worldwide to use the Latin rite of Mass alongside the Novus Ordo Mass which became the norm after Vatican Council ll. This Council did not ban the older traditional Mass rite, but allowed Mass to be said in the vernacular form of language; other changes were introduced into the Novus Ordo Mass since the council.

The rite of the Tridentine Mass does not offer the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar girls or lay readers.

* * *

This Mass is not being organised by St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association but we applaud the Parish of Celbridge and the Archdiocese of Dublin for their excellent work.
UPDATE: The Mass took place this evening with a congregation of 300+. The priest was Fr. James Larkin, P.P., who said that the decade in which the Church was built was a historic one in that the Stations of the Cross that were on the walls had been created in 1851, the Immaculate Conception had been proclaimed by Pope Pius the Ninth in 1854, Our Lady appeared in Lourdes and told St. Bernadette that she was "the Immaculate Conception" and in 1859, the Church in which they were attending Mass was opened with Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the same form that they were celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass tonight. Well done Celbridge!


Anonymous said...

"The rite of the Tridentine Mass does not offer the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar girls or lay readers."

Is this, strictly speaking, true? For example, what exactly prohibits the use of altar girls?

Convenor said...

I simply relay what was published. It very much depends upon where the Holy See comes down on these questions.

How far is the 1962 Missal governed by the general Universal Law of the Church?

The 1962 rubrics are silent upon many questions that vex traddies today - mainly because the questions were dealt with by the Universal Law of the Church at the time.

Is the three hours fast to be observed? Can the Gallican Prefaces be used with the 1962 Missal even though they were introduced to the Roman Rite in 1963? Are the Minor Orders now comparable with the offices of Lector and Acolyte? What is a Sub-deacon these days - cleric or layman?

I don't think a satisfactory answer has been given on these questions or the general question of: Is the 1962 text at the mercy of the modern liturgists?

I suspect that the so-called 'gravitational pull' will, overwhelmingly, be towards the modern liturgists, or at least to the virtual anarchy and 'mixum gatherum' that reigns in the mainstream.

I know that I would resist the introduction of 'alien elements' such as those you name but I can't point to a single legal text to support the argument.

I would fall back upon the sensibilities of the faithful argument to defend my position but it's not a strong argument.

I'm acutely conscious that traddies are quite happy to split when faced with a choice between 'nisi quod traditium est' and being 'well in' with the local powers-that-be... FiSSiParious, as they say.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article. There should never be a lay person giving out Communion or reading at a Latin Mass and Altar girls should be banned at every Mass.

Quo Vadis said...

Sorry that this comment is so long! Hope it might be helpful to some readers?

I would think that a sensible legal principle applies in many cases. While the 1988 Code of Canon Law is binding on us all, there is the opinion that where it does not specifically abrogate a previous law, that law will still stand. Of course, like you say, in many cases it is however silent or there is a degree of confusion.

The matter of ‘female altar servers’ was specifically dealt with again by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2001 (Concerning the Use of Female Altar Servers, Prot. 2451/00/L).

The Holy See has confirmed a number of important points:

The local Bishop may permit service at the altar by women within the boundaries of the territory entrusted to his care, he is to base his prudential judgment upon what he considers to accord more closely with the local pastoral need for an ordered development of the liturgical life in the diocese entrusted to his care, bearing in mind, among other things, the sensibilities of the faithful, the reasons which would motivate such a permission, and the different liturgical settings and congregations which gather for the Holy Mass (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994, no. 1).

It is important for our purposes (in the Usus Antiquior) to note that, ‘such an authorization may not, in any way, exclude men or, in particular, boys from service at the altar, nor require that priests of the diocese would make use of female altar servers…’

It is arguable that the use of woman as servers would, amongst other things, in fact conflict with the ‘norms’ of the 1962 Missal and would not accord with the ‘different liturgical settings and congregations’ to which the local Ordinary is supposed to have regard.

The Church has not abrogated the normative practice of lay boys and men serving at the altar, but only allowed an exception, where the need arises, which should be carefully explained and considered, especially in regard to the ‘liturgical setting’.

It is not a ‘right or obligation’ or some kind of ‘blanket permission’. Indeed, ‘the obligation to support groups of altar boys will always remain’ (Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994).

It is furthermore important to note the final paragraph of the letter from the Dicastry:

‘With respect to whether the practice of women serving at the altar would truly be of pastoral advantage in the local pastoral situation, it is perhaps helpful to recall that the non-ordained faithful do not have a right to service at the altar, rather they are capable of being admitted to such service by the Sacred Pastors (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994, no. 4, cf. also can. 228, s.1, Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, August 15, 1997, no. 4, see Notitiae 34 [1998] 9-42). Therefore, in the event that Your Excellency found it opportune to authorize service of women at the altar, it would remain important to explain clearly to the faithful the nature of this innovation, lest confusion might be introduced…’

It is noted that this instruction from the Dicastry is now to be considered as ‘normative’.

With regards,


Anonymous said...

I came across this nice article in, of all places, The Irish Times. It has a great description of what pre Vatican II days were like in Ireland from someone who actually liked them.

Perhaps you could share this with your readers?

Robert Wilson said...

The Mass in Celbridge on Tuesday Night 8 December was a wonderful historic occasion, once again the people of celbridge were able to experience the prayer and sanctity of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Rite. A great big thanks to Fr. Carmody for allowing the Mass to take place and also at a scheduled regular time. Perhaps it might happen again soon? I sincerely hope so.Congrats to the Beautiful Choir of Celbridge Parish who supplied the Music superbly.
Robert Wilson Maynooth Parish

Auld Dubliner said...

Quo Vadis,

Are you saying that the use of laypeople for the various roles that they have in the Novus Ordo can happen in the Latin Mass? What's the point of Summorum Pontificum if it doesn't preserve the traditional millennial liturgical heritage of the Church?

Quo Vadis said...

Auld Dubliner,

Please read the post clearly. It dealt with the question of if 'female altar servers' could be forced on those using the 1962 Missal. In my opinion they cannot, and the post is one argument that could be used.

Gan Ainm said...

For the record, the statements above to the effect that the Pope wants the Tridentine Mass to be said in "every parish" do not appear to be accurate.

The Pope did say that priests may say Mass in the Tridentine form without asking special permission and instructed bishops and priests to facilitate such Masses where a "stable group" requests same.
This is not the same as requesting that the Tridentine Mass be celebrated in "every parish". It means that if there are enough people in a particular area to practically warrant such a Mass being scheduled that they should be accomodated.

Convenor said...

For the record, Gan Anim, I was most reluctant to publish a comment calling into question the veracity of a Cardinal.

However, I feel that the continuing tendacy to restict the meaning and limit the application of 'Summorum Pontificum' is well worth answering.

The reference is accurate. In response to the question: “So would the Pope like to see many ordinary parishes making provision for the Gregorian Rite?” from a journalist representing 'The Daily Telegraph' at a press conference before celebrating Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Monday, 16th June, 2008, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos said:

“All the parishes. Not many – all the parishes, because this is a gift of God. He offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church. This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful – the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.”

If I am asked to choose between your interpretation of the will of the Holy Father (not merely his will expressed in the text of 'Summorum Pontificum' but his intention and his mind on the matter), and the interpretation of the Cardinal commissioned by the Pope with responsibility for implementing 'Summorum Pontificum,' it seems obvious to me which interpretation is to be preferred.

God bless you!

Convenor said...

I should add, lest there be any question of his Eminence being taken by surprise, misquoted or taken out of context, he went on to say, in addressing the AGM of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales later that same day:

“Let me say this plainly: the Holy Father wants the ancient use of the Mass to become a normal occurrence in the liturgical life of the Church so that all of Christ’s faithful – young and old – can become familiar with the older rites and draw from their tangible beauty and transcendence. The Holy Father wants this for pastoral reasons as well as for theological ones.”


God bless you!

Gan Ainm said...

God bless you as well.

The second quote does seem better thought-out and more likely reflects the Pope's thinking.

I don't mean to nit-pick at the first quote which, yes, may have included thoughts not fully develooped becase of the context of the question, but using phrases such as "the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith." run the danger of appearing to suggest that the Tridentine Rite is superior to the post-Vatican II rite.

I'm sure that's not what the Cardinal meant to say. If it was, I am confident he was not reflecting the Pope's thoughts.

Convenor said...

"I always think that what the Church needs is more private judgement and more laymen telling Cardinals that, if they did say it, they didn't mean it and, if they did mean it, they're wrong."

-M. Luther

Gan Ainm said...

When a Cardinal misquotes the Pope, it means one thing: that a Cardinal has misquoted the Pope, full stop, no matter his status or title.

Convenor said...

Gan Anim,

That's true as a general point. The difficulty I have is that you have no evidence that a Cardinal misrepresented (since he didn't actually quote) the Pope.

You may want to believe that the Pope intends what you wish him to intend. However, as far as I can see, your only evidence for an attack upon the veracity of a Cardinal is that you don't want it to be true. Who is misrepresenting the Pope here?

To put it another way, if we have to choose between the Cardinal who the Pope has placed in charge of the Holy See's Dicastery for the Gregorian Rite and you (gan anim), who should we believe?

Permit me to ask one further point. IF (a big if) the Cardinal was correctly representing the Pope's mind on the matter, would you accept it?

God bless you!

Gan Ainm said...

"Misquote" may be too strong a term, since the Cardinal was not technically purporting to quote the Pope.

It is pretty clear from the Cardinal's later clarification, and, indeed, from reading Summorum Pontificum itself, that the Pope has not mandated that the Tridentine Mass be celebrated in "every parish".

It's a simplistic argument, but, I think, a strong one, to point out at this juncture that if the Pope was, in fact, mandating such a thing, it would not be such a sercret that we would have to guess about it or parse a badly worded off-the-cuff statement by a Cardinal. Isn't it safe to say we would know all about it?

Arguing that celebration of the EF Mass is mandated in all parishes is wishful thinking, whether by a Cardinal, a magazine editor or a blogger, and wishing doesn't make it so.

Would I "accept it"? I'm not a cleric, and thus would have nothing to do with implementing it, so there's nothing for me to accept.

Would I speak against it? Yes, along with the overwhelming majority of lay and ordained Catholics, especially the latter.

That is not to say that disagree with the new norms on the availability of the EF; I think it's a wonderful thing.

It should be made available, as the Vatican says, when there is a stable group requesting it. Such "stability" is a pragmatic and practical test and the Pope was no fool in establishing it.

You have been very honest in this blog in gathering and displaying data showing the very small numbers of Catholics requesting the EF, and then participating in it once available.

Convenor said...

Gan Anim,

"Misquote" is not "too strong a term." It is an incorrect term. You're quick enough to accuse a Cardinal...

It is clear that the Pope HAS mandated the Gregorian Rite to be celebrated in ANY Parish, which is to say, he has mandated it to be celebrated in EVERY Parish where the question arises AND that the Pope wishes (so says the Cardinal who was in a good position to know) that it will be celebrated even where the question doesn't arise.

The Pope may not be (is not) requiring every Parish to use the Gregorian Rite, except where Priest or People desire it, but he is mandating it to be used wherever there is a desire AND wishes that it will not be limited to those circumstances.

That is, I think, what the Cardinal said. That is, I think, the point you reject.

Your argument is simplistic, but it is neither well-founded nor correctly applied.

We know that the Pope has mandated the celebration of the Gregorian Rite in ANY Parish, that is, in EVERY Parish where the question arises AND that he wishes (so says the Cardinal) that it be celebrated even where the question doesn't arise.

However, it is by no means rare not to know the mind of the legislator behind the text - although you claim to know that mind better than the Cardinal.

Canon Canon 16 §1 of the Code of Canon Law states: "Laws are authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation."

That is to say, Canon Law (and common sense) previsages the necessity of interpretation beyond the text of the law and provide for the carrying out of that interpretation.

Canon 17 states: "Ecclesiastical laws are to be understood according to the proper meaning of the words considered in their text and context. If the meaning remains doubtful or obscure, there must be recourse to parallel places, if there be any, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the mind of the legislator."

So, not only does Canon Law (and common sense) realise that the text may be unclear or inadequate and goes on to suggest that recourse be had to the mind of the legislator.

If you take Canon 16 §1 with Canon 17, you know where the mind of the legislator is to be sought - from the legislator or "that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation."

I'm not saying that the quotation from the Cardinal is an authoritative and binding decision of the Holy See.

I am saying that you are incorrect when you say that the Cardinal's statements are inaccurate, that they were not what the Cardinal meant to say, and that he was not reflecting the Pope's thoughts.

I am also saying that the Cardinal's statements are a good indicator of the mind of the Pope by one "to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation."

I say that the Cardinal had every right to say what he said; he said it; it was accurate; it should be respected as a statement of the mind of the Pope by one to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation, albeit expressed in an informal manner.

Lest you protest that informality nullifies the effect (which I don't contend is binding but merely persuasive and informative), Canon Law requires certain acts to be in writing - but not all. The maxim 'expressio unius est exclusio alterius' is applicable.

If you would speak against such a mandate, you would not accept it - even if it was the mind of the Supreme Legislator of the Church, which, in fact, it is.

That you would not (and do not)accept "along with the overwhelming majority of lay and ordained Catholics, especially the latter" should be as disturbing as it is unsurprising, given what the overwhelming majority of ordained Catholics, certainly in this country, have been willing to wink at over the last 40 years.

God bless you!

Convenor said...

I don't accept that there are "very small" numbers of Catholics requesting the Gregorian Rite in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

While there are dreadfully small numbers attending the monthly Masses, the attendance at the Masses organised by St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association is around and above that at the normal daily Masses.

I agree that some practical standard should be applied to the provision of Masses in the Gregorian Rite and I think that the same standard should be set as that of the Novus Ordo Masses.

The Gregorian Rite should be permitted 'ad experimentum' for a reasonable period with a reasonable level of support.

If the congregation doesn't come close to the level of interest in the (smallest) comparable Novus Ordo Masses (be they weekday or Sunday) within a reasonable period, they should be cancelled.

It isn't unreasonable to say that, if a comparable Novus Ordo Mass would be cancelled in those circumstances (if it had this few attending), then a comparable Gregorian Rite Mass should be treated similarly.

However, the presumption - and this is certainly mandated by the Pope - should be in favour of granting and not in favour of refusing, as it certainly is in much of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

More to the point, if the Gregorian Rite attracts as many as the comparable Novus Ordo Mass, there should be an irrisistable imperative in favour of the Gregorian Rite.

God bless you!

Gan Ainm said...

It is not true that the Pope has mandated the clebration of the Tridentine Mass in every parish, not that he has mandated that an experiment be conducted by having such a Mass celebratd in every parish.

I am not in a position to verify the contention that the Tridentine Mass attracts an equal number of attendees in your area as does the Ordinary Mass. I highly doubt it.

Convenor said...

Gan Anim,

It is CERTAINLY TRUE that the Pope has mandated the celebration of the Gregorian Rite in EVERY Parish, since he has mandated it in ANY Parish where it arises, which is potentially in EVERY Parish in the Church - and the Pope has done so despite, and perhaps because of, relentless opposition such as your own.

The Pope does not require it in every Parish, since it may not arise in some, but - and here is where the Cardinal's words are of value - the Pope wishes the Gregorian Rite to be used even where the conditions in 'Summorum Pontificum' are not triggered.

Mandating it anywhere is not the same as requiring it everywhere but mandating it anywhere is a universal mandate.

I would respectfully suggest that, not only are you not in a position to verify the contention, but you have not a whit of evidence one way or the other - except my statement, which you choose to reject. Now I know what Cardinals must feel like!

Convenor said...


God bless you!

Big Al said...

There is a daily Tridentine Mass in a Parish near us. There are as many folks going as to the english Mass. It causes no difficulty and I cant see how it would be a problem if there was one in every Parish.

Anonymous said...

What are the modernists so frightened of? Do they think that nobody will go to the New Mass if the Traditional Mass is liberated?

Doesn't it say something if the only way that they can be sure of reaching the people is when they have a liturgical monopoly?

Semper Eadem said...

I agree. Well done Celbridge.

Gan Ainm said...

Big Al:

You say as many people attend the daily Latin Mass as the English. What happens on Sunday? How many people attend each of the Masses to which you refer? What size is the parish and in what country is it located?

Recorder said...

Hey Incognito, what is your agenda here? I welcome your comments but why are you so opposed to the Gregorian Rite?

"A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent"

Gan Ainm said...

Not opposed to it. I'm happy that the small minority who wish to avail themselves of the old form have that opportunity open to them.

As I had feared, however, the Pope's gracious and wise decision to allow that opportunity is being misused by those who would wish to undo Vatican II.

Convenor said...

Gan Anim, I'd love to have your contribution to some of the other questions on the blog, especially the 'From the Pontifical Commission' post:

Your comments are informed and informative (although I don't actually agree with most of them) and they are most welcome!

God bless you!