Summorum Pontificum-Latin Gregorian Mass

Q. Why has Pope Benedict XVI given all priests the freedom to say Mass in Latin?

A. To re-focus the Church on the documents of Vatican II. What the Motu Proprio did was give permission for every priest to say mass according to the 1962 Rite. Up until now it was up to the local bishop who could or could not celebrate the Latin Mass in his diocese. The Novus Ordo is in Latin. This has been translated into the local languages of the faithful and Latin has always been permitted in the Novus Ordo. It just was seldom done…

As Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship said:

“Today the problems of the liturgy center on language (vernacular translations or Latin) and the position of the priest, whether he faces the assembly or faces God. I will surprise you here:

Nowhere in Vatican II does it say that the priest must face the assembly, nor that the use of Latin is forbidden!

The use of the common language is permitted, notably in the liturgy of the Word, but the decree (Vatican II) is very clear that the use of the Latin language should be maintained in the Latin Rite. It must be clarified that the Latin ritual has not been outlawed.”

“And it is certain that a new generation is seeking a greater orientation toward mystery. Once again, it is not a question of being progressive or conservative, but simply of permitting man to pray, to listen to the voice of the Lord. What happens in the celebration of the Lord’s glory is not merely a human reality. If one forgets this mystical aspect, everything gets mixed up and confused. If the liturgy loses its mystical and heavenly dimension, then who is left to help man free himself from his egoism and self-enslavement? The liturgy must be a road to freedom, in opening man to the infinite.”

It really is so much more fitting that during the Eucharistic Liturgy, when the Priest offers the Sacrifice of the Mass to God on behalf of the faithful, that the priest faces God and the altar along with the congregation. The ritual tradition is towards the East, in the direction of the the rising sun, Light of Christ.


2 Responses to Summorum Pontificum-Latin Gregorian Mass

  1. Michael says:

    It is not merely “more fitting” but it is the must if we want to express the lex credendi adequately. Nor is it merely that “the priest faces God and the altar along with the congregation”: he is a shepherd who should stand in front of his flock leading it to God.

    The present anti-ecumenical, versus populum, Mass is a doctrinal and devotional disaster, and a cultural scandal without precedent. Millions have been squandered on smashing altars, and architectural exercises in producing monuments of uncharity, “as ugly as sin” – all that to satisfy the monstrous appetites of our guru-s. As Fr. Nichols OP says in his Looking Again at the Liturgy: A Critical View of its Contemporary Form: “Liturgy is too important to be left to liturgists” (9).

    The aim seems to be to replace the Sacrifice with the “breaking of bread” as conceived by the Low Protestants, around which the congregation would gather and be entertained by the “president”, who should make an “interesting”, “meaningful” and “relevant” performance, during which – among other things – he should establish an “eye contact” with the public. The latter is supposed to – how interesting – to “see” what is on the table, including the priest munching the received Host, and occasionally wiping his nose…

    With the removal of the tabernacle a dichotomy is created between the “active” Christ on the table, and the “spare”one, side promoted or at the back of the celebrant. It makes a particular nonsense when he genuflects toward the Christ on the table while, at the same time turning his back toward the “spare” Christ on the old altar, or in the tabernacle if the altar has been removed.

    It is rarely realized that all the “blessed sacraments” in the world, now and in the past, are constitutive of the One Loaf – the sign of unity of which St. Paul speaks; and to arrange the Mass in which the consecrated Host is treated as something different from the “spare” one, and not as something that is assumed into the latter to become a part of it, is doctrinally misleading.

  2. Robert Nicodemo says:

    Our Holy Father, then Cardinal Ratzinger, has expressed in the clearest possible manner that there has been a discontinuity between Tradition and the applications based on the name of the “spirit on Vatican II”.
    More recently, he has alerted us that now is the time for a “healthy critique of the Vatican II”.
    Vatican II, itself, was somewhat put into the hands of the experts, namely the theologians that were advising the bishops about what to say or not, what to approved or not.
    Very sad, indeed, and all these has been explained by our Holy Father.
    Please, in God’s name, read his books!

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