21 July 2017

Concelebration in the Roman Colleges (4)

You will have been asking: does this Working Paper forget to mention the explicit words of Sacrosanctum Concilium, of the liturgical books, and of the Code of Canon Law, which secure to a presbyter his right (facultas) of celebrating a private (singularis) Mass?

Not a bit of it. To be fair, it grasps that problem very firmly and with both hands. It quotes it, gives the references, and then this is what it says (the highlighting is in the original draft):

Il criterio fondamentale che giustifica la celebrazione individuale nello stesso giorno nel quale la Chiesa o la comunita propone la concelebrazione e quando il beneficio dei fedeli lo richieda o lo consigli.

(The fundamental criterion which justifies individual celebration on the same day on which the Church or the community proposes concelebration is when the benefit of the faithful requests or advises it.)

Yes. I thought that would take your breath away. I really do not think it necessary for me to labour the nastiness of this ... and its cleverness in seeking to prevent young priests from saying their daily Mass. It completely perverts the plain and contextual meaning of the Council, the rubrics, and Canon Law.

Another anxiety: papal and curial documents like to build up a 'position' by citing previous documents, regarded as precedents. If the Congregation for Clergy gets away with this cheap dodge, there is every risk that their enactment will be littered around in the footnotes of future repressive documents until we are told that it has become the Church's settled position.

I will merely add that the Working Paper does not deal with another right canonically secured to every presbyter of the Roman Rite: that of celebrating a private mass daily in the Extraordinary Form (vide the opening sections of Summorum Pontificum). If the Working Paper had taken up this question, doubtless its conclusion would have been just as clever and equally nasty.

I have one more piece (5) about this a nasty document put together by a nasty group in pursuance of a nasty plot. After that, my final piece (6) on this subject will throw the windows wide open to the clean fresh air of the wholesome paradosis of our wonderful Western and Latin Christendom. It will contain extensive quotations from somebody whom I consider one of the great theologians of the last century, whom I knew and whose teachings greatly influenced my own vocation to the Sacred Priesthood. So hang on there: something good is on the way

To be continued.


John F H H said...

Il criterio fondamentale che giustifica la celebrazione individuale nello stesso giorno nel quale la Chiesa o la comunita propone la concelebrazione e quando il beneficio dei fedeli lo richieda o lo consigli.

(The fundamental criterion which justifies individual celebration on the same day on which the Church or the community proposes concelebration is when the benefit of the faithful requests or advises it.)

But does not every Mass offered benefit the faithful?
(cf. the priest's Declaration of Intention before saying Mass:
Ego volo celebrare Missam, et conficere Corpus et Sanguinem Domini nostri Jesu Christi . . . ad utilitatem meam totiusque CuriƦ militantis, pro ominibus, qui se commendaverunt orationibus meis in genere et in specie . . [I wish to celebrate Mass, and confect the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . for the benefit of the whole Church militant, and for myself and for those who have desired my prayers both in general and in particular . . .])

tradgardmastare said...

Can't wait for part six,l could do with reading something to lift my spirits.
On Sunday I attended my monthly ordinariate Mass ( a veritable oasis for me and I suspect many,many others too) then went locally to a daily Mass yesterday. We were out in twenty minutes , the difference was chalk and cheese. I do fear for the hearts and minds of ordinary catholic folk who are swept along on the Zeitgeist of Francis and his cronies.

Belfry Bat said...

Well, I certainly don't care for any notion or proposition that imagines priests opposed to The Faithful. I rather hope on the contrary that priests are faithful.

Anyway, This member of the lay faithful requests, for the benefit of all the faithful on Earth and in Purgatory, "May the Lord be worshiped and glorified on all the altars of the Church".

Fr. Thomas Hoisington said...

Regarding the proviso: "...when the benefit of the faithful requests or advises it", it's worth remembering that the individual priest is a member of "the faithful", and it is to his benefit to celebrate a private Mass rather than to concelebrate, as Sacred Tradition clearly affirms.

Colombiere said...

Twenty years ago, I was resident in a Roman college, working on my advanced degrees after a decade of priestly ministry. Although our house had an excellent and deserved reputation, I found the daily concelebrations to be frequently lacking in reverence, attention and liturgical exactness. I would concelebrate once or twice a week during the first months I was there in order to fit in and not appear to be "exceptional" or odd. But I had to give it up. Some priests would not even labiate (mouth) the Words of Institution or barely extended their hands for the Epiclesis or the Consecration. The later in the day the concelebration took place, the more likely did these instances occur. Were all the priests present similarly negligent? Of course not; some were admirable in their devotion .
A goodly number of us celebrated individually each day in a "private Mass chapel," which had 4 altars available. Some offered Mass in their native language, uniting themselves to their home country and its people; others practiced "new languages," learning to pray their Mass in unfamiliar tongues, in which they would minister when they returned to their dioceses. And some of us in those pre-Summorum days, made use of our personal Indults from Ecclesia Dei or other more general permissions to celebrate what we knew as "the Tridentine Mass." Were all of these "private Masses" superior to the concelebrations? Of course not. Some days were better than others; some days were filled with deadlines, pressures and writers' block; and we carried these burdens to the altar and laid them before the Lord. The important thing was that we were maintaining and developing our personal spirituality of the Mass in the midst of our graduate studies, thesis writing and exam preparation-- and doing so without the benefit of the presence of a congregation or even a server, to which we had become accustomed by previous years of ministry.
From my reading, this working paper does not address the real spiritual needs of student priests in any realistic way. Well-prepared concelebrations can be beautiful and moving, particularly if a bishop, successor to the Apostles, is the main celebrant. (Even the most Traddy among us is impressed by the ceremonial concelebration of the newly ordained after a Traditional Rite/Extraordinary Form ordination). But grad and post-grad studies is also a period when a priest's own priestly spirituality and personal virtue is formed and developed in a kind of extended noviciate or "long retreat "- and "private Mass," in whatever form, plays a central role in this.
I know many fine but non-trad priests now in their late 70s and 80s and retired, who only say Mass and receive Communion when they are invited to "fill in" in parish situations. Otherwise they "go without," because they have no experience of the spirituality of private Masses and feel odd attending Mass "like a lay person."
And if I may make one final point: Priests go to Rome at the pleasure and assignment of their bishops in order to prepare themselves for academic or special ministry. Many of them will go on to become bishops themselves-- and they know it. (I have seen many designs for Episcopal Arms and drafts of mottoes sketched during boring Roman lectures). These men and their bishops at home will now know that if they want to be considered for the Papal Nuncios ' letters of inquiry in the future, they had better have played by the rules and conformed to what was "always to be preferred " during their years in Roman colleges. Those who do not do so will not be considered "team players " or even "good priests." And that is unfair and dangerous for the Church's future and the bonum animarum of priests and laity alike.
Like Moses, we need to keep our arms uplifted in prayer -- preferably shoulder-high and 12-14" inches apart - and ask Our Blessed Mother to protect her priest-sons.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Cardinal Hume used to refer to concelebration as 'consenting adults'!

Seriously though there are some excellent thoughts on the role of the priest vis-a-vis the laity in St JPII's Spiritual Diaries e.g:

"He who does not have faith can communicate concepts, but only a person of faith can communicate faith. Those who are to lead the people of God have to walk in faith, act in faith.

In order to be a person of faith, the priest has to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, devoted to learning. But above all, he has to seek Christ with all his strength." p.161.

I believe that many lay people can tell whether their priest is a man of faith.