Happy Birthday, Summorum Pontificum!


One of Papa Benedict’s greatest achievements, IMO




Happy Birthday to Summorum Pontificorum.


PLEASE I am NOT asking to cause argument and I really don’t have the knowledge of Summorum Pontificum but just wanting to know more about this:

1.)Was it instituted on a limited basis (as in only a few churches in each Diocese would have the EF Mass)?
2.) Was it instituted for a specific amount of time with the understanding that it would later be withdrawn?
3.) Was it instituted that it would be used for special occasions and not as a regular scheduled OF Mass would be?
4.) Was it meant to be a choice for the Catholics to choose which type of Mass they preferred or to be implemented to eventually become THE Mass offered?
5.) Did the Pope ever think it would cause the division in the Church that it has or did he implement it thinking it would unite Catholics.
6.) Was it done because it was demanded by the people or did the Pope just feel he wanted it available for those who chose to attend this form of Mass.

I would greatly appreciate your kind and simple explanations. Like I said I don’t want to cause any arguments just want some clarity on this.


Pope Benedict was outstanding. The more I find out about him the more I really appreciate his Papacy. He was Pope while I was a kid pretty much and didn’t really understand it then.

Just to clarify, Summorum Pontificum…it means that you can do the Latin mass and still be Roman Catholic? I know that it’s not the “normal” or “ordinary” mass. Anyways, happy birthday to it :slight_smile:


Yes, that and more


I do not know for sure the answer. But my guess is that it was done to reconcile the ones who only want a Latin Mass and the ones accusing them of not being obedient enough and demanding a mass to their pleasing. And to open the door to SSPX to return in communion with Rome.


Yayyyyyyyyyy. Still no Latin Mass in my diocese though.


:frowning: :frowning:
That’s a pity


Mine is 55 miles away. Can’t go every week, sigh.
Anyway Happy Anniversary of a great work by a great theologian and pope!


Summorum Pontificum (it’s a short read):

Pope Benedict XVI’s follow up letter to the bishops about their concerns over Summorum Pontificum (equally short read):

No. Summorum Pontificum was intended to free the bishop from having to make the decision for each and every case, while liberating the '62 liturgy to any priest who desires to say it and who is competent to do so. (Article 2)

The Pope gives no indication that this is the case in either Summorum Pontificum (henceforth S.P.) or his follow up letter to the bishops. In fact, he explicitly mentions how many youths with no historical connection to the '62 liturgy unexpectedly grew attached to that liturgy due to the earlier indults of his predecessor Pope John Paul II. These earlier indults were indeed mainly envisioned to satisfy members of the SSPX and older Catholics without any expectation of “Latin Mass converts”, so to speak. S.P. was designed with these others in mind so I can’t imagine how he would expect S.P. to be temporary unless he expected this pool of “Latin Mass converts” to eventually dry up.

No. S.P. allows for regular celebration of the E.F. Entire religious communities can make it their normative Mass if their superiors choose such (Article 3), priests can regularly celebrate it on Sundays, weekdays, or holidays (Article 5 §2), the laity can assist at such Masses if the priest celebrates them publicly (Article 4), the laity can request that such Masses be offered (Article 5 §1), and the '62 liturgy can be used for special occasions like weddings and funerals (Article 5 §3). If the priest deems it opportune he can also celebrate the other sacraments using the '62 liturgies (Article 9). There’s really no way to shoe horn S.P. into some conditional permission once you actually read the letter.

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“Meant to be”? S.P. envisions just about every possible combination of E.F. vs. O.F. balance and leaves all these decisions to individual priests and the local ordinaries. It could be as infrequent as an individual parishioner asking a competent priest to say his Nuptial Mass according to the '62 rites as a one time thing, or it could even involve a bishop erecting a personal parish for all the needs of the faithful attached to those rites (Article 10). In the latter case, that would obviously involve the E.F. becoming “THE Mass” for such parishes. Nothing in S.P. is meant to be a one size fits all fix, though.

I’m not sure whether Pope Benedict XVI thought this would happen, but he evidently states in S.P. that the two forms are expected to coexist, and in his later follow up letter to the bishops he labors to assuage their fears that such animosity would occur. Indeed, he expected the two forms to “mutually enrich” one another.


I don’t really see all these “divisions” in the real world. In some areas, no doubt–like San Francisco–those who want to see same sex “marriages,” openly homosexual priests and lesbian “priestesses,” etc. become normative in the Roman Catholic Church may link the Traditional Latin Mass with opposition to their unholy agenda. But I’m just speculatin,’ based on my recently acquired and very imperfect knowledge of the dynamics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.


I do. My parish offers weekly EF masses. I have a few Catholic friends and associates who turn their nose up at the turn toward tradition here.


I haven’t seen any actual division other than when some bishop tells people they can’t have a Latin Mass, or when people argue about it on this forum.

I think it’s nice to have another option for Mass.


Oh I’ve seen and heard division on many online sites. Nothing in my neighborhood or anything cause our closest EF Mass is an hour away.

I am a CRADLE TO GRAVE/WOMB TO TOMB devout practicing Catholic and it was so bad from what I was reading I honestly had to go talk to my Priest because I thought I was doing something wrong by going to OF Masses. Those on that side of the issue make it seem like we aren’t real true Catholics and are attending a watered down Mass if we go to OF Masses.

But I have since read, researched and now understand the situation and know that we are all Catholics we are all going to the proper Mass.


It’s probably that there’s a turn toward tradition, as you say, that riles people up. It’s human nature to resist change, and especially when we consider that many people flock to the E.F. once they hear about new parishes offering it like liturgical refugees, it’s not surprising to me that you see a form of what I guess we could call liturgical nativism. As more and more “Trads” cross county and diocesan (not to mention parish) lines to assist at the E.F. they dilute the influence of the locals in the parish. They should be worried because everywhere I’ve seen this happen eventually the parish embraces more and more tradition at the expense of novelty and those beholden to the novel ways are squeezed out.

I was such a refugee! I was mostly content in my O.F. parish though already attached to the E.F. from previous exposure. We just didn’t have one close enough at the time. With our new archbishop came a new priest at some other parish whose church I had never even stepped foot in. The E.F. started being offered there and once I got word I began assisting there instead. I watched there as the local parishioners complained about the new priest and his “medieval views”, and sure enough in time, the carpet was ripped out of the sanctuary, that ugly-as-sin I-don’t-even-know-what-it-was huge stage prop that sat in front of the altar was removed, the smaller free standing altar was removed, the altar girls were relieved of duty (as were the EMHCs), ALL Masses (including OF ones) were said ad orientem and now everyone receives kneeling at the altar rail and on the tongue. This transformation happened in about 5 years or so, and none of those original parishioners lamenting the arrival of the new priest remain. Many parishioners eventually got on board with the changes and have grown fond of them. Most parishioners today were not there 5 years ago as they followed the first generation of us migrants.


I can definitely relate to that.

As I was researching the church the first sites I came across were Father Z, Rotate Caeli, etc. it was during the time of Pope Benedict and so not that bad. Boy did things change with Pope Francis…

It put me off the Catholic Church for a number of years.


To be fair, I saw the same thing happen but in the opposite direction, still involving a loss of power: when my old parish that is otherwise liturgically conservative (though not “Trad”) began hosting the Charismatic Renewal. Same thing happened. Over time the parish became more and more charismatic in praxis at the expense of the practices of the original congregation. Culture really is a zero-sum game.


I concur. I’ve had to moderate my consumption of articles from New Liturgical Movement because the antipathy has grown so much, and that’s despite me generally being sympathetic to their conclusions. I can’t stand the liturgical snobbery especially when its predicated on an almost political hysteria.

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