Two Masses for a Single Church : Universae Ecclesiae
Only one Roman rite in two forms, ancient and modern. This is Benedict XVI's prescription to heal a liturgical disorder that has become "hard to bear." For those who don't believe it, a new document has been released with the instructions
ROME, May 13, 2011 - To understand the reason for the liberalization of the Mass in the ancient Roman rite, decided by Benedict XVI with the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of 2007 and confirmed with the instruction "Universæ Ecclesiæ" released today, the most reliable guide is still the letter to the bishops with which pope Joseph Ratzinger accompanied that motu proprio:
> "My dear Brother Bishops..."
In it, Benedict XVI described the situation that he intended to correct as "hard to bear." If not only the Lefebvrists - whose desire for rupture was, however, "at a deeper level - but also many persons faithful to Vatican Council II "desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them," that is, to return to the ancient missal, the reason was the following, in the judgment of the pope:
"In many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church".
Benedict XVI's conviction is, instead, that "the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching." The ancient rite will be able to be supplemented with new feasts and new texts. While "the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage."
Which is exactly what happens, before the eyes of all, every time pope Ratzinger celebrates the Mass: with the "modern" rite but in a style faithful to the riches of tradition.
In the instruction "Universæ Ecclesiæ" released today with the date of April 30, 2011, the feast of Saint Pius V, is cited this other passage of Benedict XVI's letter of 2007:
"There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."
And vice versa - the instruction reiterates at no. 19 - the faithful who celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite "must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the 'forma ordinaria'."
So here is a link to the instruction released on May 13, 2011, on the application of the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of 2007.
> Universæ Ecclesiæ
While this is the summary overseen by the director of the press office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi:
> "The Instruction on the application of the motu proprio..."
Both the instruction and the summary have been released in the main languages. Just as is also translated into multiple languages, on the Vatican website, Benedict XVI's letter to the bishops of 2007.
Curiously, however, the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" continues to be present on the website of the Holy See in only two languages, and among the lesser known: Latin and Hungarian:
> Summorum Pontificum
Meanwhile, next May 15, the 4th Sunday of Easter, a solemn Mass in the ancient rite will be celebrated in the papal basilica of San Pietro in Vaticano, for the first time at "Altare della Cattedra".
The celebrant will be Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the congregation for divine worship.
The choir will be conducted by Cardinale Domenico Bartolucci, formerly the permanent conductor of the Cappella Musicale Sistina.
The Mass will conclude a conference on the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum," the speakers at which include Cardinal Cañizares, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and Monsignor Guido Pozzo secretary of pontifical commission "Ecclesia Dei".
The program of the conference:
> "Una speranza per tutta la Chiesa"
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.