Friday, February 19, 2010

Traditional Latin Mass Further Liberated

Damian Thompson:
Good news from Rome: the Vatican has further underlined the freedom of priests to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form whenever they choose. Two important points have been clarified by Ecclesia Dei, which will make it more difficult for the English, Welsh and above all Scottish bishops to stall the implementation of Summorum Pontificum:

1. A priest does NOT have to be approached by a “stable group” of the faithful in order to schedule a PUBLIC celebration of the Extraordinary Form – he may choose to do so, for example, in order to introduce his parishioners to this ancient form of the Roman Rite. Or because it’s his aunt’s birthday. Any reason, really.

2. A Mass in the Extraordinary Form may replace a regularly scheduled Mass in the Ordinary Form.

You can find more details of the Ecclesia Dei ruling here, on the excellent New Liturgical Movement blog. I do hope that priests will be encouraged by this document to exercise their full rights under Summorum Pontificum. I know of several instances in which British bishops are trying to undermine the Pope’s wishes, though I’m not going to go public where it would make the situation worse. But it is common knowledge that the situation is particularly serious is Scotland, where EF Masses are extremely rare and official claims that there is no demand for them need to be scrutinised very carefully, shall we say. More on that later.

Meanwhile, traditionalist priests and seminarians should take heart. Your hour is coming.
Catholic Knight's analysis:
Rome has spoken again. While rebel priests and bishops from all over the western world seek new ways to twist canon law and thwart the pope's will, the Vatican has now ruled the following. Any Roman Rite Catholic priest may celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine mass, Extraordinary Form or Usus Antiquior) or "Ancient Use" at any time, whenever he wants, for any reason, or no particular reason at all.

It can be done privately (with or without guests), or publicly, and it may replace any ordinary mass at any time. The one and only requirement is that the priest be competent to celebrate it, and there are many means through which a priest may attain competency, either through training videos or short workshops.
The extremely helpful Traditional Latin Mass website can be found here.

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