Fifth Anniversary Of Summorum Pontificum Approaches

It will soon be five years since the great day of the announcement of Summorum Pontificum, up to now the key moment of this Pontificate. These five years read like a mirror of the Pontificate itself: much better at great gestures than at day-to-day administration.

Summorum Pontificum was certainly historical in its value, and of vast significance in its implications: so vast in fact, that the Holy Father lacked the courage to enforce it.

Five years later, the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is left to the good will of the local bishop; which means, local bishops being what they are, that it has largely remained lettera morta. After “only” almost four years, Summorum Pontificum even had its own Instruction, Universae Ecclesiae, which made even clearer how the Pope wanted to see his reform implemented, and that nothing would happen to those who just refuse to do it. Basically, this is the history of this pontificate: not deprived of theological breadth, but clearly lacking in practical bite.

Five years have passed, and still very few have the privilege to smell the incense.

Thankfully, many more have woken up.


Posted on June 6, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, Bp. Tony Taylor, is suspending all priests who offer the TLM based on trumped up charges. Taylor has so far suspended all 5 priests who offer the TLM.

  2. Mundabor,
    Pope Benedict is a man of the Council. He is no traditionalist; he is not even a conservative in the strict sense. The Pope is a moderate progressive, just as he has been all his life, just slightly more moderate than his immediate predecessors. He is a man of Assisi, of Dignitatis Humanae, Nostra Aetate and Gaudium et Spes. The overriding goal of his Pontificate has been to make some changes to the interpretation of Vatican II in order to preserve the progressive substance in all its modern drabness. Keeping this in mind, I would like to propose the following analogy:

    The Council was to the Church what Le Corbusier was to architecture. Summorum Pontificum is essentially a concession to some souls hurt by modernist ideology, just as a beautiful house somewhere in the wilderness might be a concession to souls offended by Le Corbusier’s modernist architecture. Most people may not live in it, as access is very restricted by the Council of Architectural Reform, but its very existence implicitly justifies and makes plausible the continuation of the “architecture of reform in continuity”.as opposed to the “architecture of rupture”. But neither the Council of Architectural Reform nor the Pope have any intention of actually restoring traditional forms to their full right and glory. If they had, there would be no utterly gratuitous restrictions on, for example, priestly ordinations in the traditional rite, or the celebration of the traditional Easter Triduum.

    Traditional Catholics are being given some form of consolation by Summorum Pontificum. All this is very just, right, good and proper. But it is also what we call in Germany a “Trostpflaster”. It does not change anything except feelings, because the Pope is not in the business of restoring Tradtion but of reforming it, that is, of slowly dissolving it in the universal acid of modernity.

    • Catocon,
      in my rather more disillusioned days I must say I see it as you do.
      When the sun shines, however, I dare to hope the Holy Father has understood – at some level – th eerror of the entire construct of V II, but not being a very brave man is afraid of saying coram populo “I have made a mistake, we all have”.

      But truly, it is difficult to gauge the real intentions of a man who seems intent in making everyone happy, appoints a multitude of unspeakable bishops and issues Summorum Pontificum.

      We have seen the last example of this in the recent episode with Burke, object of the latest leak and about which I have written already. First he leaves Burke in the dark, then he writes a notes saying he makes very right observations. I do not know you, but I would feel treated like the poor idiot who can be appeased with a couple of words after he has been ignored and purposely left in the dark by, no doubt about that, the Holy father himself.


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