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Friday, 20 August 2010

Eminent Sense and sensibility

Well, as you are no doubt aware all the Latin Rite Bishops of the world have by now sent off their Summorum Pontificum Reports to Rome (along with a great many regional reports by laypeople) as required by the Holy Father. 

It cannot have escaped the attention of the authorities to whom these documents have been sent that these reports are from the same people who systemically failed to implement the Ecclesia Dei Decree of John Paul II, with some noteable exceptions.  Yet despite it's failure at one level, the decree did make it clear that to desire the Classical Roman Rite was a "rightful aspiration"  The use of the term "rightful" was a significant turning point for those who had fought so hard for this rite.  The erection of religious institutes devoted to the use the "liturgical books of 1962" gave traditional catholics the opportunity to prove what they had for so long proclaimed; that young people where not only attracted to the traditional liturgy but that they where also attracted to the challenges of the traditional religious life both male and female.

The release of Summorum Pontificum took the rightful aspiration even further.  It recognised the attempt to suppress the Usus Antiquior as an injustice, by affirming that the rite hand never been legally forbidden whilst proclaiming it "rightful" to desire the traditional liturgy, which must be perceived "as a treasure for the whole church".  In other words you would have to question the thinking of any priest who would deny that the "extraordinary form" or "Usus Antiquior" was anything but a treasure of the church.  Puting aside the reality that few clergy perceive, let alone think about the "Usus Antiquior" in these terms, they are nevertheless aware that whilst they may not have met any "traditional catholics" lattely they very well might in the near future.  They are also vaguely aware that these people are on the increase and that their attitude is supposed to be a welcoming one, despite their best instincts. Of course the fact is that no authority is required beyond that required for the celebration of the new rite.  Neither Bishop nor Prior nor Parish Priest need approve, nor necessarily be informed other than for the reason of common courtesy.

So where to from here? What will come in response to the reports? Let us take a Sybilic glance into the future.

 Summorum Pontificum asks for nothing less than equity, and it accords at least a status of legal parity to the Usus Antiquior.

Could this sense of equality be taken to one place that will ensure the survival of the Classical Roman Rite and even ensure its restoration to the altars of our own diocese?

The answer in short is yes.

How eminently sensible it would be to cause every (latin rite) seminary in the world to instruct it's seminarists in how to celebrate both rites.  How wonderful if our seminaries where caused to add to their curriculae instruction in who to celebrate the Usus Antiquior.  This would of course have to be done in conjunction with enforcement of the requirement that all Latin Rite seminarians be taught latin.

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