Sunday, February 08, 2009

Milwaukee Archbishop on the "Latin Mass"

Technically, it's the Extraordinary Form, as Latin can (and should) be used in the Ordinary Form, too...

In order to ensure an orderly implementation of the norms of Summorum Pontificum, Archbishop Dolan has promulgated diocesan guidelines for liturgical celebrations with the use of the 1962 Missal. These norms are effective immediately.


The motu proprio issued by Pope Benedict XVI entitled Summorum Pontificum allows for the exercise of discretion in the use of the 1962 Missal at parishes. The applicable text reads as follows:

Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonizes with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favoring the unity of the whole Church.

§ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.

§ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.

§ 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded. Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognized by the Apostolic See.

To ensure an orderly application of these norms the following guidelines are to be observed:

• The request for celebrations in the extraordinary form arises from a stable group who have adhered to this usage over time. The use of the extraordinary form is not used with groups that reject the validity of the ordinary form. The extra-ordinary form is not to be used only at the discretion or personal preference of the pastor/priest without a request from the people.
• The use of the extraordinary form is not to be used if it will create a divisive or elitist spirit in the parish. Prior catechesis for the whole parish, not just to those who are making the request, is required. The extraordinary form is not to be used as a “novelty” or “teaching tool.”
• Since the norms require that the priest celebrating in the extraordinary form be qualified to do so, there needs to be an assessment of readiness for such celebrations. Priests who were not trained in the 1962 Missal, or who have lost touch with the rituals therein, are to demonstrate their qualifications prior to such a celebration. The priests of the Institute of Christ the King (St. Stanislaus Parish) will be delegated to make such assessments and provide assistance as needed.

Altogether, it gets a "B+" or "A-." There is a mis-translation of a difficult-to-translate phrase (the 'stable group' thing), but it should not have an impact except in a few parishes; there is a lot of room for debate on the question of whether 'there must be a request from "the people" before a priest may celebrate the EF'; and I cannot understand why the Abp. even introduced the concept of "elitism;" I think that he put the red meat on the table where there should have been only vegetables.

Be that as it may, he did NOT invent all sorts of silly and retrograde restrictions, "licenses," and quotas as have many other Bishops.


HT: Fr. Z


Phelony Jones said...


Anonymous said...

I am a big supporter of B-XVI, reform the reform, Extraordinary form etc, but the Archbishop is right, there is a sense of Elitism amongst some (many) in these communities. Now yes of course they have taken it hard from the new-agey liturgist types but still it's no cause for pride. I think the Latin Mass going types are all to happy to put themselves in the religious ghetto/gated community, either way it's the same idea. Elitists.

Anonymous said...

In my parish we have to share the church with a novus ordo parish. Most of the elitism I've seen is from the modernists. They don't want us there and they let us know.
For example we keep our missalettes and bulletins on a small card table in the vestibule and they make a stink about it every week. Suddenly that table is very important to them.