Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quotes to keep in mind when discussing with parish priests and bishops ...

Photo: Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (centre) with members of the FIUV Council and other faithful (November 2011)

The below quotes by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos are useful in discussions between laity and the parish priests / bishops to show what the Pope's intentions are:

"The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was (involved) in the preparation for the (Vatican II - my note) council, is acting exactly in the way of the council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration."

"(Pope Benedict wants - my note) All the parishes. Not many, all the parishes (to make provisions for the Tridentine Mass - my note), 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 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."

Way back in 2007/2008, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) wrote to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin rite, and also to understand the theology, the philosophy and the language of such Masses.

In Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI had indicated that Tridentine Masses should be made available in every parish where groups of the faithful desire it and where a priest has been trained to celebrate it. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos had indicated that a stable group could mean just three or four people who were not necessarily drawn from the same parish. This has been the main stumbling block in Malta for seemingly unknown reasons.


"Different parishes or dioceses" was inserted in Universae Ecclesiae following pressure from traditional Catholics, including in particular from Malta. I had been involved in informal discussions with the Roman Curia for the previous 18 months and this insertion should have cleared the minds of the local Curia. But, with few exceptions, the status quo has remained.

Concluding, my advice to Pro Tridentina (Malta) and other laity in these islands is to press the local church authorities by referring to these issues and others raised in previous contributions in this Blog. Should discussions fail, the motu proprio and the instruction clearly indicate the other available routes.