Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 years after Summorum Pontificum


Ever since Summorum Pontificum took effect in September 2007, Mary Kraychy has heard many laudatory comments regarding the traditional Latin Mass.

Kraychy is the executive director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, a group formed to support Pope John Paul II’s 1988 apostolic letter, issued motu proprio (“on his own initiative”).

In the document, the Holy Father notified the Church of the excommunication of five clerics associated with the Society of St. Pius X, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre being the most notable among them.

However, Ecclesia Dei also contained the announcement of a pontifical commission by the same name, whose purpose was to facilitate the full ecclesial communion of those who had been associated with the Society of St. Pius X by allowing for wider use of the traditional Latin Mass.  [This was in 1988 folks!  I only learned about Ecclesia Dei in 1992 when some mysterious person sent me a booklet of Michael Davis about the Traditional Latin Mass.  And did we even hear bishops and priests talk about the motu propio?  Nah.  Cardinal Sin and the CBCP in 1988 was busy praising the 1986 revolution.]

“Pope John Paul II wanted the Society of St. Pius X to understand that, while he did support their appreciation for the traditional liturgy, he wanted to ensure that it would be offered under his guidance as the visible head of the Church,” Kraychy said. “He encouraged bishops to make ‘a wide and generous application of the directives’ released by the Congregation for Divine Worship in a 1984 letter regarding that very issue.” [which did not happen and 1988 and which STILL is not happening even after Summorum Pontificum.  Why you might ask?  Read on.]

That letter, Quattuor Abhinc Annos (Four Years Ago), was sent to the presidents of bishops’ conferences around the world. Bishops were informed that those who desired to worship according to the 1962 Missal would be able to do so, under certain conditions.

The two most significant were that those requesting such worship believe in the validity of the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 and that such worship occur in the times and places determined by the bishop.

However, four years after the letter was released, there was still very little response to the Holy Father’s lead, Kraychy said. She attributed this to a misunderstanding of the status of the 1962 Missal in the Church. “There was a belief, common among bishops and laity, that the traditional Latin Mass was peculiar, archaic or even downright unacceptable,” she said. “There was a widespread impression that the ‘old Mass’ had been outlawed forever and that ‘piano and guitar Masses’ in English were now the norm.”  [It was not just an 'impression'. It was being taught that this is how the Mass should be!  Dancing, clapping, guitars, etc...]

Kraychy didn’t want to stand by while this notion prevailed.

In an attempt to improve the situation, she formed, along with 14 other laypeople, the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei (distinct from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei). “We started doing everything we could to make known the status of the traditional liturgy and to encourage its broader availability,” she said.

These efforts met with success, but nothing along the lines of what happened after Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, also issued motu proprio, took effect on Sept. 14, 2007.

On that date, priests in the Latin rite were no longer obliged to ask permission of their bishop to offer the traditional liturgy.

The 1962 Missal was officially opened up to any priest who wished to use it and to any “stable group of the faithful” who wished to participate in its use.

The Holy Father’s action facilitated an upsurge in the number of traditional Latin Masses offered. [Here in the Philippines, I would not dare use the term upsurge.  Why?  Fr. Chupungco and Fr. Diwa are relentless in their attacks against the Traditional Liturgy.  Bishops are being threatened, would you believe that, by one this priest for supporting and allowing the Traditional Mass!  Even some bishops whom I have talked with confirm that these two are doing everything they can to stop the liturgical agenda of Pope Benedict XVI and to push their own liturgical reform, which lamentably is Bugnini in all shapes and sizes!  See what you have from San Beda!  See the liturgical "art" you get from PDDM!  Their type of liturgy is to put the tabernacle to the side!]

By September 2007, Kraychy counted 235 Sunday Masses regularly offered according to the 1962 Missal in the United States. Five years later, the number has grown to 475.  [Here in the Philippines?  Let's count the Archdiocese of Manila first................NADA!  In the Diocese of Malaybalay.......Nada!  Why, you might ask did I single out those two dioceses?  Because those two are the places frequented by our world-renowned liturgist!  He has inexplicable clout in those dioceses!  And yet......what do we have there?  KUMBAYA MASS!!!]

“We had seen a slow but steady increase in the number of Sunday Latin Masses prior to September of 2007, but since then, it has become a rapid and steady increase. If you take the previous five-year period [2002-2007], there was a net gain of 55 Sunday Masses, while in the last five years, there was net gain of 240,” she said.

When it comes to weekday Masses, the numbers appear to be even more impressive, Kraychy believes, although the coalition does not keep exact figures for them.

“In addition to the priests who offer the extraordinary form exclusively, there are many more who do so on a limited basis, usually during the week,” she said. “The former group is comprised mostly of order priests, such as those from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter [FSSP] and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The latter group is mostly made up of diocesan priests.”

Diocesan priests constitute the majority of participants at liturgical workshops sponsored by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. The classes on topics like the history, spirituality and rubrics of the traditional Latin Mass started just prior to the release of Summorum Pontificum and continue to this day.

Over the past five years, almost 1,000 priests and seminarians have been trained by the Canons Regular to offer Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Roughly 80% of these participants are from dioceses, and 20% belong to religious orders.

The next workshop will take place Oct. 23-26 in Chicago, where the 1,000th participant will be trained. This is in stark contrast to the years before Summorum Pontificum, when Father Scott Haynes of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius said training occurred only on an as-requested basis: “Before the release of the Holy Father’s motu proprio, we had one or two priests at a time come to us for assistance in learning the 1962 Missal. Then, immediately before it came out, we had our first official workshop, and we haven’t let up since. We’re very pleased with the Holy Father’s action, and we’re eager to help more priests and seminarians learn what is now called the ‘extraordinary form.’”  [Here in the Philippines, priests come to be trained.......on a per request basis....and even lying to their bishops or superiors as to the real reason where they are going and for what.  Yup.  Philippines.....home of world renowned liturgical expert, still in pre-Summorum Pontificum era.....still can't say goodbye to the 1960s and 70s.]

There is an online tutorial available at the Canons Regular’s website (, along with other resources on the traditional liturgy, such as CDs, DVDs and books.

A new book, The Mystical Theology of the Mass, will be added to the assortment later this year. It was written by Father Haynes and includes a foreword by Cardinal Raymond Burke and an introduction by Alice von Hildebrand. The book — and many of the other resources — are designed for both clergy and the laity.

The Canons Regular also provide instruction for laypeople, and Father Haynes welcomes this opportunity to make the extraordinary form better understood and accepted.

“There are definitely laypeople who already have a desire to participate in the extraordinary form, but there are some who aren’t sure what to expect, and some are even apprehensive,” he said. “We want to assure them that while there are different forms of the Mass, we’re all Catholic, and we’re not in a competition. We’re simply trying to give due honor to almighty God through reverent worship.”  [But Fr. Chupungco and Fr. Diwa think we are in competition, and frankly, I agree with them.  One of the rare times actually.  Why?  Imagine pitting the TLM against the Misa ng Sambayanang Pilipino.....If this were a wrestling or boxing match.....expect a major squashing to happen.  Train-wreck!  TLM against the G-string clad liturgical dancers of Fr. Chupungco?  I'd rather watch paint dry.....Ugh!]

The goal of reverent worship has also been a hallmark of Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio’s life. The founder and president of Ignatius Press believes that the Mass can be offered reverently in both the ordinary form (according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI) and in the extraordinary form (according to the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII).  [Yes, I agree.  But why has Fr. Chupungco and Fr. Diwa not done anything?  Why are they preventing the TLM to be offered freely without their "veiled threats" to bishops and priests wanting it?  it just really baffles me.  Do they seriously think that they can go up against Pope Benedict XVI?]

“While it may surprise some people, I think the ordinary form of the Mass, if it is actually conducted as Pope Paul VI intended, can be just as beautiful as the extraordinary form,” Father Fessio stated. “But it can’t be done arbitrarily, as it largely has been over the past four decades. It has to be done as it was truly intended by Pope Paul VI.”  [but it is being done arbitrarily.  Just open your TV sets every Sunday morning! And where are the liturgical experts to clamp down on these abuses?  NOWHERE!]

What does such a Mass look like? Father Fessio indicates that it looks much like a Mass offered according to the 1962 Missal.

This is one of the reasons he doesn’t use the unqualified term “Latin Mass” regarding the older Missal. “The specific reasons people list for attending the extraordinary form are things such as use of Latin, the priest facing the same direction as the congregation, the employment of Gregorian chant. Yet all of these can be done with the ordinary form.” [Yes!  Sacrosanctum Concilium specifically mentioned it but Fr. Chupungco is openly against it!]

Father Fessio utilizes these features at his own Masses, including those he celebrated recently at the Napa Institute’s second annual conference. “At the Napa conference in late July, there were four to five Masses per day, and all of them were done ad orientem — with priest and people facing in the same direction. This was true of the ordinary and the extraordinary form, and no one seemed to have a problem with it.”  [Imagine the likes of Frs. Anton Pascual, Glenn Paul Gomez, Mario "Swswswshhhh" Sobrejuanite doing orientem....I can imagine them frothing in the mouth for being able to flash their pearly white teeth in front of the camera while doing their "Bob Barker" style of worship.  Ha!  Imagine the torture they had to go through.  Forget "Fr." Archie Guiriba.  He is hopeless.  He really has to work hard to feed the fruits of his loins.]

A major reason why it went so smoothly, Father Fessio believes, was Summorum Pontificum, which made the extraordinary form more available than it had been. “There’s no question that Summorum has made the extraordinary form more available, so the faithful have been able to witness the beauty of the traditional liturgy firsthand. The horror and hostility expressed by some at the release of Summorum have been blunted by the reality before their eyes. For five years we’ve seen that there’s nothing to fear, but much to be thankful for.”  [Ha!  Tell that to Fr. Diwa, Fr. Chupungco, Fr. Sobrejuanite!]

This gratitude has made Father Fessio’s work of restoring the novus ordo Mass much easier. “When the faithful realize the novus ordo was supposed to be an organic development of tradition, rather than a break from it, things go more smoothly in steering it to where it should be,” he said.

One major inspiration for Father Fessio’s labors is Pope Benedict, who taught him in graduate school. “I was very fortunate to learn from one of the best minds in the Church while pursuing my doctorate in theology,” Father Fessio said. “He has had important things to say on so many topics, but the liturgy is one realm that might stand out above the rest. Even in the 1970s, he was publicly questioning the reforms taking place, because they were not called for by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, and they did not constitute an organic development of the liturgy.”  [Do you think the Misa ng Sambayanang Pilipino of Fr. Chupungco is an organic development?  How can be a development when the Mass was played up like a jigsaw puzzle!]

These criticisms didn’t become well known in the English-speaking world until Ignatius Press published The Ratzinger Report in 1985 and Feast of Faith in 1986.

Then, in 2000, came The Spirit of the Liturgy, his best-known work on the topic.

By the time he succeeded Pope John Paul II in 2005, a number of observers expected Pope Benedict to do something grand regarding the traditional liturgy. Their expectations were met in 2007 with the release of Summorum Pontificum, a document that has helped in very practical ways to renew appreciation for the sacred liturgy in the hearts and minds of the faithful.


But much more has to be done.

Summorum Pontificum is not yet fully liberalized.

Bishops and priests are still openly hostile towards groups promoting the Traditional Liturgy calling them "SSPX Supporters"  Ha!  I wish I had a dollar every time I read that!  Or maybe write it in ALL CAPS!

5 years after the issuance of Summorum Pontificum, priests who openly celebrated it are marginalized, ridiculed made fun of.

One priest even told me that one of his confreres asked if most of the TLM goers are rich people!

See that?

There is your compass pointing to their "North".

That is their inspiration!

Not really about the form of the liturgy eh?

So, I'll repeat what I have posted before.

If the richest people in the Philippines, like Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, all the other billionaires in the country would ask for the Traditional Latin Mass expect the likes of Fr. Anton Pascual, Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite to scamper to traditional groups asking to be trained to say the EF Mass.  Expect them to wear the black cassock everytime.....with biretta and cappelo romano for sure.

30 pieces of silver anyone?

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