Sunday, July 15, 2007


Tobin versus Trautman

Do I start with the positive first, or the negative? The negative. We'll save the good bishop for last, ok?

First you got the infamous Bishop Donald Trautman, head of the BCL, and Bishop of Erie, PA. He begins his statement about the Holy Father's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, by stating that "The recent apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI on widening the use of the liturgical books of 1962 is prompted by his desire to reach out to those Catholics in schism because of their non-acceptance of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council".

Nice try, but that's not the only reason, and the SSPX aren't the only people looking for the 1962 Mass. Vatican II never did away with the Tridentine Mass. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI made it clear that the 1962 Mass was never abrogated in the first place.

He then goes on to say that since two parishes in his diocese have a 1962 Mass there is no need to press desire for more. I equate that with his saying that the liturgy must be dumbed down since the average normal adult has the mind of a second grader (which is, IMO, what he implies when he whines about the reform of the reform).

I do, however, give him some credit for this:
"Priests who might want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass will be given a rubrical and Latin exam to comply with the pope’s own statement, 'The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.'”

I do agree - if a priest is to say the Tridentine Mass, he has to know what he's doing. But I would sure hope that his diocese offers some kind of training (perhaps from the two parishes already celebrating the 1962 Mass) and not just some "pop-quiz" exam for the sake of saying, "you flunked, you're screwed!" in order to write off the Pope's wishes.

For a much better analysis than mine, check out Fr. Z's post. RSCT to Gerald.

Now, here in Providence, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin offers a more positive note:

“I welcome the statement of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI that allows for the expanded use of the traditional Latin Mass in the Church. Although it is unlikely that the new provision will have much immediate impact on our priests and parishioners, the provision for additional use of the traditional Latin Mass may serve the pastoral needs of some of the faithful, and for that we are grateful. The increased use of the Latin Mass is a legitimate reflection of the rich diversity of the liturgical life of the Church."
(emphasis mine)

He also mentioned that Holy Name of Jesus Church (where I worked from 1999-2003) in Providence celebrates a 1962 Mass each and every Sunday (at 11:00 AM). I may add that there is also a Traditional Latin Mass at 7 PM on holydays of obligation.

Entire article is in the July 12, 2007 edition of the Rhode Island Catholic.


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