You have (hopefully) read here about the possible attempt to sanitize Summorum Pontificum. If you haven’t done it, I ask you to follow the link and make good use of the email addresses herein contained.
From Paolo Rodari’s Blog we are informed that these were all rumours without a basis in reality.
After reading both sides (one of the few times where it is an advantage to be able to read Italian) I must say that Rodari’s denial of the rumours is not very reassuring – better said: it is positively alarming – for the following reasons:
1) Rodari contacts his sources and these say to him: “don’t worry, no watering down is happening”. I wonder who would ever say to him “be worried, that’s exactly what is going to happen”. A denial is, in my eyes, credible if it gives new information; if, for example, an explicit commitment to the expansion of the celebration of Tridentine Masses had been conveyed to Rodari, this would have been a powerful reassurance. Nothing of the sort has happened.
2) As it transpires, Rodari’s sources confirm that Scicluni and Canizares are the two main actors. This was unknown to anyone until… the leak about the watering down. This confirms that the sources of the rumours are very well informed.
3) You don’t need to be a fan of “Yes, Prime Minister” to understand that such leaks always happen for a reason. In this case, it seems rather clear that the draft of the instructions has been found rather unpalatable by conservative men within the Curia, who are now acting to stop the mess before it becomes a bomb.
Summa summarum, I would say that Rodari’s affirmation do nothing to tranquillise conservative Catholics. On the contrary, they only show the precision and credibility of Messa In Latino‘s sources.
Please keep sending the emails.
Dramatic news from Rome.
It would appear that the long-awaited clarification document on the application of Summorum Pontificum would pose heavy limitations to its celebrations. Such limitations might, in fact, not go beyond the boycott of the Tridentine already witnessed among large part of the Catholic hierarchy, but would give the clear message that such a boycott is not unwelcome after all or, said in a slightly less polemic way, that the times are considered not ripe for a generalised diffusion of the Tridentine.
I generally choose not to write about rumours, but this is worrying. Rorate caeli is on the barricades and they are certainly not the types prone to alarmist and hysteric shouting. Messa in Latino (a delicious Italian blog written with all the violent energy of passionate Italians, I do pity those of you who can’t read Italian and will henceforward consider myself utterly soft and ruined by years of living in England) is firing from all cannons and also makes nomi e cognomi (Monsignor Scicluna and Cardinal Canizares), the rumours are confirmed from different sources and in short, the alarm bell is ringing.
From the details transpired until now, it would appear that the clarifications are in the sense of
a) rigidly restricting the old rite to the proper Roman Rite (for example: no usus antiquior of the Ambrosian Rite), and
b) pointing out to the concept that the Tridentine is, so to speak, a separate exercise for those with certain “sensitivities” but not meant to influence and penetrate the liturgical life of the Church.
Messa in Latino calls this exercise annacquamento, anzi annegamento (“watering down, nay: drowning”) of Summorum Pontificum and it is clear to see why they would get so emotional: if a signal goes out that the Tridentine is something rigidly limited to sensitive, rather than meant to help the sensible, the knives will be out to relegate the Tridentine in the attic of liturgical praxis.
This is very, very bad and if confirmed would, I am afraid, be in indelible stain on the entire pontificate of Benedict XVI and indicate, as the Italian say, that he has grown “afraid of his own courage” and doesn’t want to encourage the strong wind of renewal (that is: restoration of tradition and sanity) clearly noticed in these last years.
I would be inclined to dismiss such fears, if the behaviour of the Pontiff in the last months would give me confidence that this rumours are unlikely to have any ground in reality. Unfortunately, the Pontiff’s careless words about condoms on one side and the extraordinary initiative of Assisi III on the other side do appear to justify the fear that this Pope is, so to speak, not really like wine.
Let us hope that all this is a tempest in a water-glass. But at this point it is fitting that there be a tempest.
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