Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interview with Ecclesia Dei Secretary on Three Years of Summorum Pontificum

The German Service of Vatican Radio today carries an interview with Msgr. Guido Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, on the occasion of three years of Summorum Pontificum. NLM will try to provide a full translation (if any of our readers would be willing to help, that would be greatly appreciated - email addressed can be found at the top of the left side bar). In the meantime, here are a few salient points:

1. (When asked about resistence to the usus antiquior:) The old Rite of the Mass has a deep richness that needs not only to be respected, but also to be rediscovered, for the benefit of the liturgy, also as it is celebrated today. These prejudices and resistance have to be overcome by a change in the forma mentis, the disposition. A more adequate liturgical formation is needed.

2. (When asked whether interest in the usus antiquior is growing:) I would say growing. Also, because we observe that especially in the younger generations there is interest in and popularity of the old form of the Mass. And this is surprising news.

3. (When asked about numbers of faithful interested in the Extraordinary Form:) It is certainly clear, too, that the value of the Extraordinary Form of the Rite has nothing to do with numbers. Both forms are equal in value and dignity.

4. I am of the opinion that one should offer seminarians in the seminaries the opportunity to learn the celebration in the Extraordinary Form properly - not as an obligation, but as a possibility. Where possible, one could make use for the formation of the priests of those institutions which are under the jurisdiction of the Commission Ecclesia Dei and follow the traditional liturgical discipline.

5. In the letter to the bishops accompanying the motu proprio, Pope Benedict mentioned on the one hand the need to update the calendar of Saints, i.e. to insert the Saints proclaimed after 1962, and on the other hand that certain prefaces from the Missal of Paul VI should be incorporated in order to enrich the collection of the prefaces of the Missal of 1962. The Commission Ecclesia Dei has set up a study process to comply with the will of the Holy Father. Here one will soon, I think, arrive at a proposal, which will shortly be submitted to the Holy Father for approbation.

6. I think we must also recognize that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite offers a more extensive reading of Scripture than the Missal of 1962. Nevertheless, an amendment of the Missal of 1962 in this regard is not easy, because one has to keep in mind the relation between the biblical readings and the antiphons or responsories of the Roman breviary for that day. It bears recalling, too, however, that under Pope Pius XII a number of additional readings for the commons of Saints has been added. Therefore, one can not rule out a possible extension for the readings of the Mass. That does not mean, however, that one may as a bishop or priest celebrant subjectively and arbitrarily change the sequence of the Lectionary or mix the two forms, so that the character of both is lost.

7. In light of these explanations (sc. in the letter to the bishops), it is clear that the Catholic faithful are urged to avoid participation in the Mass or the reception of the sacraments from a priest of the FSSPX, because they are canonically irregular.