10 November 2008

PCED Confirms Use of Traditional Calendar for Extraordinary Form


From the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales via New Liturgical Movement:

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY


For Immediate Release10 November 2008

* Traditional Mass Can be Celebrated on Traditional Feast Days, Says Rome

Transferred Holydays of Obligation: an Important Clarification From the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei


In April 2008, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales sought a ruling from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei aimed at harmonising the celebration of certain Holy Days of Obligation in the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. The bishops had, in the case of the Epiphany, the Ascension and Corpus Christi, transferred these to specific Sundays and in the case of all other Holy Days of Obligation that are kept in England and Wales, with the exception of Christmas, transferred them also to specific Sundays, whenever they fall on a Saturday or a Monday. They wished to ensure that these Holy Days were also kept on Sundays by those attached to the Extraordinary Form.

Consequently, the Bishops’ Conference submitted a dubium to Rome but declined to release the full text or of Ecclesia Dei’s reply. The LMS therefore submitted its own dubium to Rome in July and a reply, dated 20 October, has now been received.

The reply from the Ecclesia Dei Commission confirms that the Mass and Office of Holy Days can continue to be said on the days prescribed in the calendar for the Extraordinary Form and that the right to use this calendar is intrinsic to the right to use the Extraordinary Form.

The LMS’s letter requested confirmation that:


I. the legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 decreed by the Sovereign Pontiff in Summorum Pontificum includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.

II. That, whilst in accordance with Canon 1246 the Episcopal Conference with the approbation of the Holy See legitimately transfers Holydays of Obligation or suppresses the obligation of Holydays, it is legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.

III. That, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae generales Missalis romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.

Ecclesia Dei’s reply stated:

“1. The legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.


2. While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.

3. Thus, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference, as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.”


Ecclesia Dei’s reply is signed by its Vice-President, Mgr Camille Perl.
[...]

The full texts of the LMS’s dubium and the Ecclesia Dei reply can be seen on the LMS’s website: www.latin-mass-society.org

2 comments:

YoungCatholicSTL said...

I, for one, am glad this issue has finally been addressed. While, I suspect, the bishops seeking clarification of this issue asked with impure intentions, the question nonetheless is a very important one.

Many of us traditional Catholics are living in a world where we are now, at least to a degree, co-existing between Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form rites (little 'r'). That said, we are not co-existing between Catholic Rites (big 'R'), like the Latin Rite and the Maronite Rite, for example. It is important for those of who live in both rites to be able to balance the two, and to know by which we are bound, if either, when conflict arises.

I recently had asked much of this same question addressed by Ecclesia Dei to Fr. Z (who probably had not even read the email yet) as I was curious as to how to balance the two sides. Clearly the Novus Ordo calendar has some problems (especially concerning the transfer of holy days), but the Extraordinary Form loving Catholics are obligated to obey the same Bishops as the Ordinary Form loving Catholics, and accept (although not necessarily agree with or support) the changes decreed by our Bishops.

To balance the two calendars is not easy, and I, for one, strongly believe the two must both be updated and synchronized. Prior to the Novus Ordo, the Extraordinary Form Missal was updated and the calendar amended on a semi-regular basis to account for new feasts and other changes. However, because the Extraordinary Form was suppressed (although never abrogated) for many years, the Extraordinary Form has not been updated to reflect many of the changes that should have been accounted for over these last 40years.

And on the flip side of that coin, the calendar of the Ordinary Form has begun to make a mockery of feasts and holy days. The idea that Ascension Thursday can just be moved to a Sunday is an injustice to the Church. Are we too lazy, too consumed by the material world that we cannot make even an hour for God on a holy day? Yet our Bishops tell us we are not bound to attend Mass on these days, and the Ordinary Form calendar now reflects the same.

Thus we are faced with a controversy that can only be settled by the Vatican. How do we reconcile a calendar that we have fought 40 years to preserve with a calendar, handed down to the same Rite, under the authority of the same Bishops, and governing the same people?

And in this response from Ecclesia Dei we have a wonderful, yet hopefully only temporary, answer. We are bound by both and by compromise. The Extraordinary Form can, in fact must, continue to use the calendar and feasts of the 1962 missal, but, because the Bishops have decreed that certain feasts may be moved, Catholics with a devotion to either rite are bound by their bishop, and not by the feast.

So I for one am pleased that Ecclesia Dei has issued this decision, even if the motives behind the question were impure.

Anonymous said...

Rash judgment, and contradictory, he is, as Yoda would say....

Forsooth, on the one hand, Bishops' motive are impure. On the other hand, Bishops' orders must be obeyed.

Hmm.