Friday, October 23, 2009

Interview with Msgr. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of PCED

Our friends at messainlatino.it have made a short but most interesting interview with Msgr. Guido Pozzo, the new Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Here is an NLM translation of this interview:

Monsignor, a widespread restrictive interpretation of the motu proprio argues that the Papal provision is primarily if not exclusively, directed towards those groups and institutes that were already attached to the traditional form, and is not, by contrast, intended in any way to promote the extraordinary form. To this had already answered Card. Castrillón Hoyos, saying in London, in June 2008, that the Pope would actually like to have the 'Gregorian Rite' in all the parishes. What is your opinion?

The Motu Proprio is addressed to all the Catholic faithful who desire the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy, not just to those who, prior to its promulgation, were attached to the ancient form of the Roman rite. Certainly it does intend to accomodate these latter and to heal old wounds, but the purpose of the document is also to allow the spreading of the extraordinary form, for the benefit of those who do not know it yet (for being too young to have had it experienced), or of those who rediscover with joy the Mass of their youth. The ever increasing spread of this liturgical treasure, [sc. which is] the Church's patrimony, can bring many benefits, spiritual and vocational, also through the mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite.

The Pope's letter accompanying the motu proprio refers to a term of three years, after which reports of the bishops will be collected to assess the situation. That may mean, as some argue, that the liberalization of the old Missal stipulated by the motu proprio is to be understood ad experimentum, or at least that at the end of this evaluation there may be restrictions regarding the the extraordinary form, such as for instance the return to a regime similar to that of the indults of 1984 or 1988?

The three-year term simply refers to a balance of the first three years of application. If there turn out to be serious difficulties, appropriate remedies will be found, always keeping in mind the essential purpose of the motu proprio.

From many parts obstacles opposed to the implementation of the motu proprio have been reported. We, too, have experienced them... What should an adequate group of lay people who find themselves in such situations of difficulty do to obtain a weekly Mass in the extraordinary form? And in what way can the Commission Ecclesia Dei intervene?

The answer is already written in the motu proprio: ask the parish priest and possibly look for a priest ready [sc. to celebrate, or learn to celebrate, the extraordinary form]. Should this prove impossible, it is necessary to turn to your bishop, who is called to seek an appropriate solution. If even this way no satisfaction of the request is obtained, write to the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which, however, deals with the bishops, who are naturally our interlocutor: they are asked for an assessment of the situation, to see what the actual difficulties are and how to find a remedy.

Thank you Monsignor. In fact already the circumstance alone of seeking a relation from your Commission can unblock many 'difficult' cases, also because it is difficult to justify in writing a refusal, if there are no valid impeding reasons. As we have seen it happen very rapidly, thanks to your intervention, in Anchorage, Alaska [NLM: cf. here.]. Changing the subject, have you seen the results of the Doxa survey commissioned by Paix liturgique and us [NLM: cf. the original survey here and a summary in English here.]?

Yes, I was given a preview a few days ago. These figures are truly remarkable and encouraging, especially that absolute majority of practicing Catholics who, at least according to the poll, regard the coexistence of the two forms of the Mass in the parishes as perfectly normal. I understand that a copy of the survey has also reached the Holy Father.

Thanks again Monsignor, and keep up the good work.