From the reader “Knight of Malta” on Rorate Caeli. Too beautiful to ignore…
In the rather disconcerting matter of the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum, extremely clear signals are now being received a bit everywhere that the Instruction is going to be (largely) rather an improvement on the existing Motu Proprio than the sabotage attempted in the rather dangerous corridors of the Vatican.
That things are largely improving is now proven by the fact that a “trendy” magazine (whose name I do not want to make in case it should bring them two or three clicks) basically confirms the conservative content of the Instruction in its latest draft.
If this matter will end up with a lieto fine (that is: with only minor damage but with the official, if certainly ignored, clear indication that Summorum Pontificum is here to stay) I think that some lesson will have to be learned, like for example:
1) That whilst the corridors of the Curia are now certainly more conservative than they were 15 or 20 years ago, conservatism does not necessarily mean favour for the Tridentine.
2) That this Holy Father – good person as he is – has his own people so little under control, that they can dare to think to partially undo the most important provision of his papacy under his very nose. Think whether this could have ever happened to St. Pius X, or Pius XI, or Pius XII! A rather alarming lack of leadership is apparent here and if I were allowed to respectfully voice my opinion in the Holy Father’s presence I’d suggest that he might dedicate less time to writing and more time to selecting the right people, demanding that they work properly and controlling that they do as they are told. There’s a time to be a theologian and a time to be a Pope, methinks; particularly when episodes happen which, like this one, clearly point out to what can only be a diffused praxis instead of a single episode thought out by imaginative prelates.
3) That the leak has been providential and very well-timed, and that it pays to voice one’s dismay when things are attempted that are a shame to Catholicism. Leaks are, at times, good for one’s Church, and for one’s liver.
I will not translate the (as so often: how refreshing!) rather harsh word of Messa In Latino to those who say – as the weak and spineless are bound to say – that it is oh so unchristian to criticise a document before it is out. Rather let it go out, would their recipe be; after which they’ll invariably say that now ithat t is out it doesn’t make any sense to complain…..
The fearful will always have a reason why they don’t want to battle, but they’ll prefer to call it “love for peace” or even “obedience”. Bad Catholicism, if you ask me.
This battle has been (apparently) won because brave people (first of all Messa in Latino and Rorate Caeli) have had the gut to call a spade a spade and to do it out loud.
Nothing un-Catholic in that. On the contrary!
But we certainly need more commitment in the Curia, and a more decisive action from the very top.
This is about a DOXA poll regarding Summorum Pontificum made in 2009, that is: more than 2 years after Summorum Pontificum.
Whilst not entirely new, it is relevant to us because the source is the most prestigious poll institute in Italy. The results of the poll are rather astonishing and are given here in short form:
1) Of those who go to mass at least once a month (rather high in Italy: 51% of the Catholic population), only 64% knew about the possibility of having a Latin Mass. This means that two years after SP, many priests had not considered necessary to even mention the existence of this historic motu proprio. Then they say, of course, that the faithful “don’t want the Mass in Latin”.
2) Asked whether they would have any objection to both the Novus Ordo and the latin Mass being celebrated in their own parish, 71% of the respondents says they would not have any objection at all.
3) Among the weekly churchgoers, 40% would go to the Latin Mass every Sunday. Please read it again, I have checked the numbers! By the way, this means 9 million people every Sunday.
This was a poll made among people who often didn’t even know about Summorum Pontificum and the possibility of having a Mass in Latin and therefore could not educate themselves about the differences of the two masses, let alone assist to the Tridentine Mass for some time to assimilate them. The numbers are therefore nothing less than astonishing and once again, they come from the best known and most reputed polling institution of the Country.It is very obvious that there is a strong appetite, a very vivid interest for the recovery of old Catholic traditions.
If the Pope had more courage to go against his liberal bishops, a generalised use of the Tridentine Mass with an extremely strong following among weekly churchgoers might become the reality in the country in just a few years as there can be no doubt that the enthusiasm for the Tridentine Mass among seminarians is very common.
I thought that in these troubled days, such information might be of some value.