Author Topic: The Vatican restricts Traditional Latin Mass and private Masses at St. Peter`s  (Read 768 times)

Offline Munera tibi Domine

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https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/03/12/vatican-latin-mass-saint-peter-basilica-240224

“The Vatican restricts Traditional Latin Mass and suppresses private Masses at St. Peter`s Basilica.”

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State has issued an instruction regarding the celebration of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, suppressing Masses said by a priest by himself, and restricting the celebration of the extraordinary form of Mass in the Latin rite to one altar in the crypt of the basilica.

The instruction comes from the First Section of the Secretariat of State, which deals with the general affairs of the church and is headed by Venezuelan-born Archbishop Peña Parra. He is the third-highest ranking official in the Roman Curia and is known as the “substitute” (or chief of staff).

The instruction, dated March 12, is addressed to three separate bodies. The first is the “extraordinary commissioner of the Fabric of St Peter’s,” meaning the person the pope has appointed to oversee the administration and upkeep of the basilica. Last June, the pope appointed Archbishop Mario Giordana as extraordinary commissioner; his role is to bring clarity to the administration of the Fabric and update its statutes.The second is the “canons of the Vatican Chapter” and the third is the “service for the liturgical celebrations of the basilica.”

The Lenten season “invites us to return to the Lord with all our heart by giving greater centrality to listening to the Word of God and to the Eucharistic celebration,” reads the beginning of the instruction. “In this sense, wishing to ensure that the holy Masses in the Basilica of St. Peter’s are conducted in a climate of recollection and liturgical decorum, from now henceforth the following has been laid down.”

The instruction makes five specific points without explanation for them, but their aim appears clear: to ensure that there is order in the celebration of the Mass in St Peter’s basilica, and that Masses are celebrated in accordance with the norms and spirit of the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council. It strictly limits the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Latin rite in the basilica, making clear that its usage is not intended to be the norm.

An informed source told America that every morning, priests (many of them working in the Roman Curia) celebrate Mass at side altars of the basilica, frequently by themselves and often in the extraordinary form. The aim of the instruction’s first point is to end this practice of “lone” celebrations.

The second point of the instruction stipulates that “the priests and the faithful who go daily to the basilica for holy Mass should have the possibility to participate in the following celebrations,” listing the time and place of various Masses: at 7.00 a.m. at the Chapel of the Choir; at 7.30 a.m. at the Altar of the Chair; at 8.00 a.m. at the Chapel of the Choir; and at 9.00 a.m. at the Altar of the Chair. The times of other Masses remain unchanged. It says that “on the occasion of the memory of a saint, whose remains are kept in the basilica, one of the holy Masses can be celebrated at the corresponding altar.” It adds, however, that “on Sundays and on solemnities, the opportunity of celebrating Masses at these times will be evaluated.” This last point presumably refers to the fact that the pope will often celebrate in the basilica on Sundays or solemnities.

The focus on larger, shared liturgies rather than many lone Masses every day is in accord with the spirit of the liturgical renewal introduced by the Second Vatican Council. The aim of this instruction is to ensure that the liturgy is celebrated in accordance with the liturgical reforms of Vatican II and becomes abundantly clear in the third point of the instruction, which states that “the celebrations (of Masses in the basilica) should be liturgically animated, with the assistance of lectors and cantors.”


The fourth point of the instruction states that “groups of pilgrims, accompanied by a bishop or priests (should) be assured of the possibility of celebrating holy Mass in the Vatican grottoes,” meaning in the chapels of the crypt of the basilica or around the tomb of St. Peter.

The instruction’s fifth point permits the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Latin rite of the Mass (essentially the pre-Vatican II Mass) at four specific times (7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the Clementine chapel of the Vatican grottoes.

The instruction concludes by stating that “the present dispositions will enter into force on March 22, Monday of the fifth week of Lent.”

 

Offline Vincentus Ioannes

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It’s almost as if the people occupying the Vatican are opposed to tradition or something.
 
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Offline Melkor

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It’s almost as if the people occupying the Vatican are opposed to tradition or something.

Yeah IKR?
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Offline Miriam_M

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I saw this first thing this morning and almost threw up.
 
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Offline Melkor

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I don't even follow news from the Vatican that much. It's frankly just too depressing, and it tends to make me angry.
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Offline Philip G.

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"An informed source told America that every morning, priests (many of them working in the Roman Curia) celebrate Mass at side altars of the basilica, frequently by themselves and often in the extraordinary form. The aim of the instruction’s first point is to end this practice of “lone” celebrations. "

At these "lone" EF masses referenced above, are there commonly altar servers?  If I am not mistake, I recall hearing that ICKSP priests sometimes would not celebrate with an altar server.  If it is the case that by "lone" masses they mean a mass lacking an altar server, then such a change should not be considered unwelcome in my opinion.   
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Melkor

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"An informed source told America that every morning, priests (many of them working in the Roman Curia) celebrate Mass at side altars of the basilica, frequently by themselves and often in the extraordinary form. The aim of the instruction’s first point is to end this practice of “lone” celebrations. "

At these "lone" EF masses referenced above, are there commonly altar servers?  If I am not mistake, I recall hearing that ICKSP priests sometimes would not celebrate with an altar server.  If it is the case that by "lone" masses they mean a mass lacking an altar server, then such a change should not be considered unwelcome in my opinion.

I don't think they are worried about the lack of altar servers, I think the issue is Rome's angst towards the 'extraordinary form' as they call it.
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.

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Offline Philip G.

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"An informed source told America that every morning, priests (many of them working in the Roman Curia) celebrate Mass at side altars of the basilica, frequently by themselves and often in the extraordinary form. The aim of the instruction’s first point is to end this practice of “lone” celebrations. "

At these "lone" EF masses referenced above, are there commonly altar servers?  If I am not mistake, I recall hearing that ICKSP priests sometimes would not celebrate with an altar server.  If it is the case that by "lone" masses they mean a mass lacking an altar server, then such a change should not be considered unwelcome in my opinion.

I don't think they are worried about the lack of altar servers, I think the issue is Rome's angst towards the 'extraordinary form' as they call it.

I could care less about Rome's angst toward the EF.  I care about the letter of the law.   If an altar server satisfies the rule change, half of the concern is not warranted.
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Melkor

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"An informed source told America that every morning, priests (many of them working in the Roman Curia) celebrate Mass at side altars of the basilica, frequently by themselves and often in the extraordinary form. The aim of the instruction’s first point is to end this practice of “lone” celebrations. "

At these "lone" EF masses referenced above, are there commonly altar servers?  If I am not mistake, I recall hearing that ICKSP priests sometimes would not celebrate with an altar server.  If it is the case that by "lone" masses they mean a mass lacking an altar server, then such a change should not be considered unwelcome in my opinion.

I don't think they are worried about the lack of altar servers, I think the issue is Rome's angst towards the 'extraordinary form' as they call it.

I could care less about Rome's angst toward the EF.  I care about the letter of the law.   If an altar server satisfies the rule change, half of the concern is not warranted.

Indeed, let's hope man.
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Offline Xavier

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Very distressing. Response from Cardinal +Burke.

From: https://www.cardinalburke.com/presentations/statement-on-the-offering-of-the-holy-mass-in-the-papal-basilica-of-saint-peter

"On March 12, 2021, the First Section (General Affairs) of the Secretariat of State of Pope Francis published a document containing certain dispositions regarding the offering of the Holy Mass in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. The document is addressed to the Extraordinary Commissioner of the Fabric of Saint Peter (Commissario Straordinario della Fabbrica di San Pietro), the canonical institute responsible for the care of the Papal Basilica, to the Canons of the Vatican Chapter (Canonici del Capitolo Vaticano), and to the Service for Liturgical Celebrations of the Basilica (Servizio Celebrazioni liturgiche della Basilica). Both the form and content of the document rightly sustain the deepest concerns of the faithful and, above all, of priests. The concerns pertain not only to the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter, but to the universal Church, inasmuch as the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is, in a particular way, the spiritual home for all Catholics, and, as such, should be a model of liturgical discipline for the particular Churches.

Regarding the form of the document, there are several concerns.

1.  It is an unsigned document from the First Section of the Secretariat of State, without a protocol number, legislating regarding the most sacred aspect of the Church’s life, the offering of the Holy Mass. It bears the seal of the First Section with initials. While the document appears to be authentic, that is, not forged, it cannot be retained to be a document containing valid legislation for the Sacred Liturgy.

2.  The Secretariat of State is not competent for the liturgical discipline of the Church and, in particular, for the liturgical discipline at the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. Rightly, one asks by what authority has the Secretariat of State issued directives which are contrary to the discipline of the universal Church. A further question regards what process was followed to arrive at the publication of such an anomalous document.

3.  Given the incompetence of the Secretariat of State in the matter, the faithful have the right to know what competent authority gave the mandate to the Secretariat of State to legislate regarding the Sacred Liturgy, that is, to issue directives regarding the offering of the Holy Mass in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter.

4.  The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican now has a Cardinal Archpriest, but the document in question is not officially communicated to him. Neither is any reference made to his responsibility for the liturgical discipline at the Basilica confided to his care.

The content of the document is likewise a source of deepest concerns.

1.  The document supposes that the Holy Masses in the Basilica of Saint Peter are presently offered in a climate lacking, in some measure, in recollection and liturgical decorum (“di raccoglimento e di decoro”). This is certainly not my experience. I know many priests, resident in Rome and visitors to Rome, who have celebrated or regularly celebrate the Holy Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica. While they have expressed to me their profound gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the Holy Mass in the Basilica, they have not indicated that the climate in which they have celebrated the Holy Mass in the Basilica was in any way lacking in the reverence, recollection and dignity which befits the Sacrament of Sacraments.

2.  The document imposes concelebration upon priests who wish to offer the Holy Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, which is contrary to universal Church law and which unjustly conditions the primary duty of the individual priest to offer the Holy Mass daily for the salvation of the world (can. 902). In what church more than in the Basilica of Saint Peter would a priest desire to offer the Holy Mass, which is the most perfect and fullest way in which he carries out his priestly mission. If an individual priest wishes to offer the Holy Mass in the Basilica, once the directives in question are in force, he will be constrained to concelebrate, in violation of his freedom to offer the Holy Mass individually.

3.  Regarding the individual offering of the Holy Mass, it must be observed that it is not only a question of a right of the priest but also of great spiritual fruit for the whole Church, since the infinite merits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are more greatly and widely applied in a manner befitting our finite and temporal nature. It is helpful to reflect upon the teaching of the Council of Trent, regarding the situation of a priest who offers the Holy Mass without any member of the faithful receiving Holy Communion. Regarding the participation of the faithful at the Holy Mass, the Council teaches: “The holy council would certainly like the faithful present at every Mass to communicate in it not only by spiritual devotion but also by sacramental reception of the Eucharist, so that the fruits of this most holy sacrifice could be theirs more fully.” It goes on to state: “But, if this does not always happen, the council does not for that reason condemn as private and illicit Masses [can. 8] in which only the priest communicates. Rather, it approves and commends them, for they too should be considered truly communal Masses, partly because the people communicate spiritually in them and partly because they are celebrated by a public minister of the Church, not for his own good alone, but for all the faithful who belong to the body of Christ” (Session XXII, Chapter 6). It should be further observed that a priest never offers the Holy Mass alone, even if there is no one else physically present, for the angels and saints assist at every offering of the Holy Mass (can. 903).

4.  With regard to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which the document falsely calls the Extraordinary Rite, the document refers to “authorized priests”, but no priest in good standing needs authorization to offer the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 2). What is more, the document limits the offering of the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form or Usus Antiquior of the Roman Rite in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter to the Clementine Chapel, at four fixed times. Is it supposed, therefore, that, each day, only four priests will be permitted to offer the Holy Mass according to the Usus Antiquior in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter? Since universal Church law permits the individual priest, in such circumstances, to offer the Holy Mass, according to either the Ordinary Form (Usus Recentior) or the Extraordinary Form (Usus Antiquior), the directive in question is in direct violation of universal Church law.

5. The document also legislates that the concelebrated Masses be animated liturgically (siano animate liturgicamente) by the service of lectors and cantors. While the liturgical discipline of the Church provides for the service of lectors and cantors, it is not their purpose to animate the Sacred Liturgy. Christ alone, in Whose person the priest acts, animates the Sacred Liturgy. Therefore, it should not be thought that the individual offering of the Holy Mass is somehow less animated, in the true spiritual sense, than the concelebrated Mass.

6.  For the sake of the Catholic faith and for the good order of the Sacred Liturgy, the highest and most perfect expression of the Church’s life in Christ, the document in question should be rescinded immediately, that is, before its supposed effective date of March 22ndnext. Furthermore, the thinking which underlies such a document should be corrected, while the discipline of the universal Church and the liturgical doctrine which underlies it is expounded for the faithful.

In conclusion, Church discipline recognizes the right, and indeed the duty, of the Christian faithful to make known to their pastors their concerns regarding matters which pertain to the good of the Church and, likewise, to make such concerns known to all the Christian faithful (can. 212 §3). Given the gravity of the situation represented by the document in question, it is my hope that many of the Christian faithful for whom the Basilica of Saint Peter is, in a particular sense, their mother church, and, above all, many priests from throughout the world will make known to Pope Francis and to his Secretariat of State their strong objection to the document in question.


Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE
Rome, 13 March 2021"
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Offline OmniaInstaurareInChristo

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God Bless Cardinal Burke.
 
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Offline Aulef

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Is it sad news in a sense? Yes, because the altars inside St. Peter`s are beautiful places to honor Our Lord.

Is it the end of the world? No. Far from it. There are many other incredible altars to do so.

We don`t live in the age in which sacrifices could be offered in only one place/temple. The Holy Roman Mass (the new form isn`t holy) can be said anywhere as long as there are the proper sacramentals. There is no need to despair.

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« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 10:06:53 AM by Aulef »
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Offline Prayerful

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Traditional Masses allowed four times daily in La Clementina subject to having authorised priests suggests this is mainly an attack on the legacy of Benedict XVI and those conservative priests who offered the Novus Ordo privately (hitherto and again discourage) and publicly with a TLM aesthetic.
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Offline Prayerful

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Ann Barnhardt think the ending of private Masses for now might not be so bad.. Essentially a Fr hearing her confession told her to kill herself, and the usher just shrugged, said there were complaints. Fr Malachi Martin recounted in novelistic form a satanic mass near the Sistine chapel all those years ago, and perhaps an exorcism of the basilica will be needed before it be used again for holy purposes.
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Offline Christina_S

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I saw this in the Una Voce newsletter and couldn't make much sense of what was provided, so thank you for this post, Munera!

I'm very grateful for +Burke's response: it clarifies many points and provides a rhetorical slap in the face to those who would support the implementation of such a document. I do, however, fear BarronTM and Co. pointing at selections of his letter to say "See? No big deal. The TLM isn't being suppressed in any way. Angry trad propaganda. Move along, nothing to see here..."
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