Monday, July 07, 2008

Fr Gómez Jaubert: The Motu Proprio as a Right of the Faithful

On this first anniversary of the publication of Summorum Pontificum Fr Luis Joaquín Gómez Jaubert, well respected canonist and recently named canonical assessor of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, as well as parish priest and defender of the bond on the island of Tenerife, Spain, has the following article in the Spanish paper "ya" (alternative link here), which we bring to you in an NLM translation.

The 7th of this month marks the first anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio papal text Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI which grants citizenship to the Latin rite of the celebration of Holy Mass and all the Sacraments, which is called the Traditional one, and is now presented as the extraordinary or Gregorian form, the latter name in reference to St. Gregory the Great (590-604) who elaborated the framework of that rite, although the canon dates from St. Gelasius (492-496) and the most important parts date back to the Pope of Hispanic origin, St. Damasus (366-384), [the rite] which was never abrogated and the last small reform of which was carried out by Blessed John XXIII, [a rite], therefore, of more than millennial age, or better still rooted in the first centuries of the Church. The dizzying activity does not cease to impress which in some nations has taken place due to the application of this document, be it on the pillars of communities existing before the Motu proprio, which already enjoyed its [the ancient rite's] celebration, be it on those built by other ones newly forged under the cover of the papal initiative on all the continents. The United States, France, Italy are good examples of this.

The continued statements of Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos - then President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to which have been entrusted the monitoring of the implementation of the papal text and the assistance to those who, interested in it, find no echo to their legitimate petitions in their local churches - show us a Vicar of Christ desirous that the two forms, ordinary and extraordianry, of the Latin rite be known to priests and seminarians and that the two be celebrated in all parishes.

It is true that not in all the dioceses the reception of the document has, during this year of its being in effect, been suitable [with perhaps some irony Fr Gómez Jaubert uses the famous word "idoneus", which exists in Spanish as well], nor has in some [dioceses] its implementation occurred along the lines set out by it. There is something like a certain distrust in much of the clergy who does not cease to consider among their pastoral objectives what is meant by the term "rights of the faithful." The papal Motu Propio goes beyond an imposition, which it seems some think is the only way to make possible obedience in the Church, and of course [the Motu Proprio goes beyond] a proposition. It is law recognizing a right. It is not a privilege nor an indult, terms that might apply - an example that I only choose for its dissemination - to the not universal concession of communion in the hand prohibited in some dioceses, but [the Motu Proprio is] a truly universal right that cannot be vetoed and which creates a corresponding duty on the part of the one who has to attend to the one or those who claim within their dioceses the recognition of said right to partake in the Sacraments with the rituals of 1962.

Spain enjoys the offer of the possibility of attending Holy Mass according to the extraordinary form in the dioceses governed by cardinals, except for Valencia, that is Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, and in some few dioceses, which I hope to cite without ommissions: Pontevedra [where the Fraternity of Christ the Priest and Saint Mary, Queen, has its seat], La Coruña, Albacete, Murcia, Pamplona, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife. Although requests, since several months ago, signed by many faithful, have been presented in Oviedo (Gijón) and Salamanca. Others, which include Málaga, have many followers waiting. Also, in our nation, there are two religious communities enjoying the right to participate in this traditional liturgy: the Oasis of Jesus the Priest, a female cloistered monastery in Barcelona with sufficient vocations for a new foundation in Spain, and the Fraternity of Christ the Priest and Saint Mary, Queen, in Galicia.

It is not a whim of this pope, as some media want to make us believe. Already Pope John Paul II, as his colaborators have reminded us, was preparing a similar text. It is the response to a necessity which is intended to favour the sacrality of the worship, absent in some ecclesial environments due to the abuses denounced by all the popes from Paul VI on, and which brings us the riches of a treasure which is the heritage of the whole Church.

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