Friday, December 15, 2006

Critical Mass: Deja Vu Revisited

From Father Zuhlsdorf, who has been following this story more than I have, comes the latest from the wires of Aci Prensa. Translation is provided from one of the commenters:

"The Motu Proprio after Christmas, the Apostolic Exhortation on the Liturgy in January. Redaccion Central, December 14th, 2006, (ACI).

"Sources close to the Vatican informed the ACI press that the Motu proprio in which Pope Benedict XVI will grant universal permission for the Missal of Pius V may be published after Christmas; while the Post-Synodal Exhortation on the Eucharistwill appear in the middle of January.

"The sources confirmed what Cardinal Estevez stated to the press, who recently participated in the meeting of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, charged with dialog with the SSPX, in which the final version of the Motu Proprio was elaborated.

"The Indult which should permit the Mass of St Pius V to be celebrated freely, without the actual requirement which demands the explicit permission of the local bishop. The Motu Proprio, nevertheless, does not touch on the canonical terms of the SSPX, the schismatic organization created by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

"The Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, according to the same sources, has already been finalized by Pope Benedict XVI and is being translated into the various languages into which it will be presented.

"The text, which will be published after January 15th, according to the sources, reaffirms the 'no' to the married priesthood, promotes the use of Latin in liturgical celebrations, and includes a request that seminarians learn the use of this language.

"The text also supports the restoration of gregorian chant and sacred polyphony in order to replace modern music, it implies that there will be a gradual withdrawal of 'inadequate' musical instruments in order to promote solemnity and reverence of the eucharistic celebration."


There has been some question as to whether the "universal indult" would be part of the exhortation, or be released separately as a "motu proprio" decree. The report mentions eliminating the requirement of the local bishop's approval, but leaves open whether a bishop can object, or how he can otherwise regulate implementation of the old missal. This implementation has been mentioned elsewhere, and this writer finds it hard to believe that such provisions would be omitted. What is clear is that the documents for whatever is going to happen have been completed, and are going through their normative process of concurrence. What is not clear is exactly when they will be promulgated, or in what form.

What is also clear, from anyone who has ever helped to organize such a program of events, is that nothing will happen overnight, except in those places where the terms of the present 1988 Indult are already implemented.

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