Friday, February 15, 2008

The Origins of Summorum Pontificum

When Benedict XVI issued Summorum, the document which allows any priest to say the Extraordinary Form (Old Rite) Mass, some Bishops and other activists tried to perpetrate the myth that the initiative was sorta ex nihilo--an unfounded, even if predictable, pronouncement by an ante-deluvian conservative who just happens to be the Pope.


As the Pertinacious Papist reports:

In 1986, Cardinal[s] Stickler, Ratzinger, Oddi, Casaroli, Palazzini, Tomko, Gantin, Innocenti and Mayer were formed into a Commission tasked by John Paul II to examine the following questions:

1) Did Pope Paul VI authorize the bishops to forbid the celebration of the traditional [1962 Rite]Mass?

2) Does the priest have the right to celebrate the traditional Mass in public and in private without restriction, even against the will of his bishop?

The Commission voted eight to one to declare that Pope Paul VI had not forbidden the Traditional Mass. The Commission voted unanimously to declare that every priest has the right to celebrate [the 1962 Rite] in public and private without restriction, and that even the bishop cannot forbid him from celebrating the [1962 Rite].

Although most of us have very hazy memories of the late 1960's, it certainly SEEMS that 'common knowledge' was that the Old Rite was forbidden--perhaps not by legislation, but certainly in practice.

At that time, the official organs of propaganda were owned and operated by the "Bugsy" Bugnini crowd (which included inter alia, Rembert Weakland, OSB, later the Archbishop of Milwaukee.) Other LiturgyWonks in the USA included virtually every member of every liturgical-oriented Association (e.g., the Nat'l Ass'n of Pastoral Musicians, NAPA(L)M for short), and the USCCB's liturgy section.

Another proof of the saying that "A lie can be halfway around the world before the Truth puts its boots on."

Need another proof? How about this:

The Commission issued a series of Norms ("The Vatican Norms of 1986") which included:

1) Bishops should ensure that on Sundays and ferial days at least one Latin Mass should be celebrated in each important locality of their diocese.

2) For every Mass celebrated in the Latin language - with or without the faithful present - the celebrant has the right freely to choose between the missal of Paul VI (1970) and that of John XXIII (1962).

Somehow, those Vatican-issued norms never made the front page of the local "Catholic" Herald. And I suspect that they never will be reprinted in that paper, nor in any Archdiocesan-sponsored liturgical publication.

Sad, eh?

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