The Flying Buttress: What Inquisitors' Minds Want to Know

An archive for issues of The Flying Buttress newswire, whose purpose is to comment satirically on dissent within and relating to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Disclaimer: These publications are works of satirical fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, but it all depends on what you mean by the word "is." May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

ALERT: Weapons of Mass Disruption

+Reviled Flying Buttress publisher Tomas de Torquemada, noticing a certain trend among American bishops who, for a variety of reasons which come under the category of “smokescreens,” do not approve of the apparent liberation of the 1962 Missal, (READ: are threatened by it, since it signals the beginning of the end of their post-Conciliar joyride) asked the St. Joseph Foundation for help in interpreting one particular phrase of Summorum Pontificum.

+The English phrase in question is “juridically impeded.” We focused on this phrase because we thought it was being used to create a loophole wide enough to accomodate a Mexican 16-wheeler, resulting in various illicit restrictions being placed upon priests who wish to celebrate this rite.

+What follows is the full response of the St. Joseph Foundation, who was kind enough to not only point out that we were mistaken, but to give us permission to use their answer, provided we printed their response in full. We are delighted to do so, and truly grateful for their clarification:

“Dear [Senor Torquemada]:

I am responding to your question concerning Summorum Pontificum, art.5 § 4. You ask about the meaning of the phrase “juridically impeded.” In this context, I believe that the term refers to priests who have certain canonical limitations on their celebration of the sacraments. For example, if a priest has been placed under a penalty such as excommunication or interdict, he is prohibited from celebrating Mass (cf. cann. 1331 § 1, 1o, 1332). Thus, this passage of SP simply means that priests who are prohibited from celebrating the sacraments generally, also are prohibited from celebrating them according to the 1962 liturgical books.

With regard to your question about the interpretation of SP by some bishops, I do not believe that they are focusing on the requirement relating to juridical impediments. Rather, I think that they are focusing on another term that appears in SP. The provision of SP that you cite (art. 5 § 4) has two requirements for priests wishing to celebrate Mass accoding to the 1962 Missal:

“idonei esse debent ac iure non impediti.”

The second requirement is that they not be juridically impeded (iure non impediti); the first requirement is that they must be idonei. That is, they must be worthy or suitable. I believe that it is this requirement of worthiness that some bishops are interpreting as providing authority for them to examine priests on their ability in Latin and their understanding of the liturgy.

Whether this interpretation is compatible with SP is a question that the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” may need to decide. For my own part, I have great difficulty in reconciling some of these interpretations with the letter and spirit of SP. By contrast, Edward Cardinal Egan of New York has issued a statement on SP in which he interpreted this requirement of worthiness to mean simply that the priests celebrating with the Missal of John XXIII must be able to pronounce the Latin words correctly. This interpretation by Cardinal Egan seems to me to be much more sound.

I hope that this information will assist you.

Sincerely yours,

M.D. The St. Joseph Foundation San Antonio, Texas”

Miscellanea CATHOLICA
+Once again, Mother Angelica reminds us how Catholic liturgy should look and sound.


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