Archbp. Mansell of Hartford on Summorum Pontificum: enjoy! [Fr. Z]

The Archbishop of Hartford, His Excellency Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, made a statement on the Motu Proprio and the older form of Mass.

I think you are going to like this! I did!

My **emphases **and comments.

Archbishop’s Column
The Catholic Transcript – September Issue, 2007

The Celebration of Mass July 7th of this year Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum, making the Tridentine Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, **[Since this is for a newspaper, it is good to use terms which, though not the very best, are still instantly understood by the average reader.] **more accessible to Catholics *** ***around the world. This is the expression of the Mass celebrated for centuries and published as the Missal of Blessed John XXIII in 1962. It is distinguished from the expression of the Mass emerging from the reforms of Vatican Council II, published in 1970 and known as the Missal of Pope Paul VI.

The Missal of Pope Paul VI remains the “ordinary” form for regular use. Greater lati****tude is now allowed, however, for the use of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the “extraordinary” form. The provisions become effective on September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
In parishes where there is a stable group **[Here is that bad English translation which is so common and so problematic.] **of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, pastors **[YES!] are asked to accept requests to celebrate the Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, but only once on Sundays. [In a special parish set up for the older form of the Roman Rite, there could be more.]
Requests to use this extraordinary form, the Tridentine Mass, may also be allowed for marriages, funerals, and pilgrimages. All of the Sacraments, in fact, may be celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, except Holy Orders. ***Pontificale Ro
manum ***also to ordain, if he makes that choice, at least under Ecclesia Dei adflicta, or give permission to another bishop coming into his diocese to ordain with the older Pontificale, just as he could before *Summorum Pontificum *to ordain and to confirm as needs arose. It is hard to imagine these circumstances outside of ordinations for those certain groups we all know. But would it not be amazing were a bishop to decide he would start ordaining with the old Pontificale? It seems to me that he has that option, use it or not. I don’t think a bishop would have to ask special permission of the Holy See.]

Communities of Religious may have this Mass celebrated in their chapels and oratories.

Clerics may use the Roman Breviary promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962.

When the Missal of Pope John XXIII is used, the Readings from the Scriptures may be rendered in the vernacular. is understood that additions to the Missal of Pope John XXIII may be forthcoming, e.g., new Prefaces, additional saints, etc.

It should be understood that the Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI may be celebrated in Latin. **[Is anyone else concerned that with the interest in the older form of Mass spreading, interest in the *newer **form in Latin may decrease?] This occurs regularly, for example, at the Monastery of Regina Laudis, in Bethlehem, Connecticut. I have been privileged to celebrate the Mass there on three occasions, as well as in Poland, Italy, and for times when there have been international congregations. I also celebrated the Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII in the early years of my priesthood.

We must remain **diligent and vigilant in the proper celebration of the Mass and the Sacraments, in both forms. ****[Hurray!] **We must take ever more seriously the importance of respect, reverence, and mystery in our celebrations. [Huzzah!] Proper clothing,!] active participation, silence in the sacred precincts **[great phrase] **of the church before and after Mass are matters that **deserve careful attention.
The Mass is the source and summit of our Christian lives. **[Yes, the Eucharist understood *both **as the Sacrament *and *Its celebration.] In the grace of the Holy Spirit may its celebration, in both forms, unite us more closely with God and one another and make us more effective disciples of Jesus Christ in building the Kingdom of God on earth.
I like this letter very much.

Notice that there are no subtle traces of intimidation.

There are no statements so typical of The Party Line (e.g., “I, the BIIISHOPPP, am in charge around here!” “No one wants this old thing.” “We are doing enough for these people already.” “I’ll be the one who determines if you are worthy!”

Instead, what we get here is a simple statement of the main points without attemtps to pick at possible loopholes.

I especially like the strong emphasis the Archbishop placed on reverence in all those things which are sacred, including in the “sacred precincts”. This “sacral” view of the church, and the action, is exactly what we need. He points also to the consequences of that sacrality: silence, dressing properly, reverence for mystery.
Folks, the whole point of *Summorum Pontificum *is **not simply getting the older Mass back again. The derestriction of the older Mass is part of Pope Benedict’s larger vision and “Marshall Plan”. It is intended that the older Mass will help us reinvigorate our Church and spiritual lives from within by rerooting us in our tradition. So, the older forms, and the deep reflection we will have about them, will gradually influence all the dimensions of the Church’s life. There will be a “gravitational pull”. But this pull will be a *two way *pull. Our experience of the newer form must necessarily offer some positive points for those who are making greater use of the older forms. It simply will be so.

In any event, I appreciate the calm approach and focus on the sense of the sacred in this statement.

Hurry for Bishop Mansell!

Full entry…

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