Thursday, April 13, 2006

No announcement today, but don't despair.

Not shockingly (and let's be honest about that!) we didn't hear any announcement today about a motu proprio clarifying the place of the classical liturgy in the life of the Roman church today.

For myself, this isn't a big surprise, because the date has be entirely the most speculative part of this whole matter.

A few (and only a very few thankfully) aren't reacting to this very well, presuming the worst. I disagree with that kind of response. Not only do I think it premature, I think it in the end will be proven wrong, because I believe there is substance to what we've been watching and waiting for. Indeed, there have been other rumours, about this and other things. But it has not been like this before. Never have we had such reason to hope. Never. Take hope in that.

The fact of the matter is, we know there is movement and discussion at the highest levels pertaining to the SSPX question. Tied to that is the question of the classical liturgy and the non-SSPX communities by consequence -- things which our Pope is a friend of and personally quite fond of. We've seen movement in the Ecclesia Dei commission and we've seen the meetings of the Pope and the Curia where this question has come up and in depth. Much of this we've seen in the past week alone, and the more of the same since mid February.

From that, we've got the rumours of a motu proprio. Rumours coming from good sources, including Roman sources. Rumours big enough and plausible enough to make it to big Catholic news providers like the CNA and CWnews, as well as other non-English language sources.

We must be realistic about this. We have extremely good reason to believe that the Holy Father is going to do something to broaden/clarify the role of the classical liturgy in the life of the Church. We have more signs of that than we ever had, and the known and confirmed meetings have been more intensive than they ever have been before.

What we don't know, however, is the time. We never have. It is the time which, as I say, has been the most speculative and without basis. Keep in mind that what has been said to be "certain" or "almost certain" is the motu proprio exists; no one ever claimed to know when it would be made public however. They've only speculated. That speculation has ranged, but part of it is that it may come during the Triduum.

So let's not determine that because it wasn't released on the very first and closest time that it may have been released, that thus it's not going to happen. Most of us aren't thinking that way.

Even if the Triduum passes us by without an announcement, that wouldnt be a momentous surprise. We've heard different rumoured days. Today. Easter Sunday. The anniversary of the papal election. The Feast of St. Pius V. It could be any of those days, or it could be none of them and pop up a day of seeming insignificance for all we know.

I can't say anything for certain of course. All I can say is that I believe something, some kind of decree is coming sometime, hopefully sometime this month, that will bode well for the classical Roman liturgy, and I think we have reason to believe it could happen "soon".

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