Universae Ecclesiae - catching up with everyone else

Rome 2 031

Universae Ecclesiae: a good thing. Let's get that out of the way first. I'm very pleased for various reasons and will give a few in a moment. First, though, let me point you to some good posts on this which have been carefully written while I have been swanning about in Rome. Non blogger bloggers have been favoured today since blogger has apparently been down for 24 hours. I was going to claim that I had asked google to switch it off until I got home, but some people would not get the joke and would send papal ninjas to shoot me, so let me say clearly that I had nothing to do with it.

Naturally Fr Z has covered this in considerable depth throughout the day. He has helpfully posted a list of RECENT POSTS about “Universae Ecclesiae” which will be updated. If you want a good summary of the document with well-considered observations, see his major post on it. Of particular interest for those in England and Wales are his comments on what Archbishop Nichols said today. There is also a WDTPRS poll for you to vote in. You are also encouraged to comment, with the amusingly sardonic rider "I know how reticent most of you are about giving an opinion about anything to do with liturgy." In accord with the genius of WDTPRS, there is a good drilling-down into the text of paragraph 21 on training of priests and seminarians and particularly the adverb enixe. (Lewis & Short: strenuously, earnestly, zealously)

Naturally the NLM has its own first-rate analysis and commentary; Fr John Boyle casts a canonical eye on the document; and the Transalpine Redemptorists affirm that it is Not for us "Black Friday". Damian Thompson writes: Vatican upholds and strengthens Summorum Pontificum. The Extraordinary Form is now a permanent feature of the mainstream Church and has picked up on the human interest story of Fr Stephen Dunn of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

And finally ... the Mulier Fortis cat posts are not universally popular but this was surely the right picture for the kitty being let out of the bag.

Now that kitty is peeping round to check that Summorum Pontificum is being implemented properly, I should perhaps weigh in with observations of my own.

I read the document three times carefully today, checking the Latin (which is the authoritative text) and little of it is left without marginal markings, mostly exclamation marks which are my shorthand for "good" when annotating books and documents. Here is a list of some of the things I liked about Universae Ecclesiae:
  • n.4 Pope Paul VI approved a "new missal" - novum Missale - i.e. we now have an authoritative statement that it was not simply a reform of the old one. I suspect somebody regrets failing to get that bit struck out :-)
  • n.7 The "sacred and great" line is quoted. Huzzah!
  • n.8a The usus antiquior is a "precious treasure to be preserved"
  • n.8b Summorum Pontificum (SP) guarantees the EF for all who ask for it and must be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful
  • n.10.1 The PCED has hierarchical superiority against Ordinaries who try to act contrary to SP
  • n.13 Bishops are to act in agreement with the mind of the Holy Father in SP and in case of controversy, the PCED will adjudicate
  • n.15 (Obviously but good to have it stated) the stable group may be people who came together even after the publication of SP
  • n.20a Priests are presumed to be idoneus
  • n.20b For Latin, priests do not have to have a classics degree; they must simply be able to "pronounce the words correctly and understand their meaning" (Fr Z has been saying this for ages. He was right.)
  • n.21 (See the footnote) By the way, both Vatican II and the Code of Canon law require that seminarians should be taught Latin
  • n.28 (Essentially...) no female servers, extraordinary ministers etc. in the EF
  • n.33 You can do the Triduum in the old rite even if it means you have a repetition (i.e. the new rite as well.)
  • n.34 Oh, yes, don't be silly, the Dominican etc. rites are allowed.
Fr Z has been searching for an alternative to the American Rounders expression "no hitter." I admit to having woefully failed to understand this expression. May I therefore offer some cricketing analogies for some of the paragraphs mentioned above?

The PCED were first to bat and their first innings was not too exciting although n.4 was a deliberate edge just outside third slip for four. In to bowl, PCED stamped its authority with n.7, an obvious but dangerous fast delivery on target for middle stump by the fresh bowler, while n.8a added a little seam and n.8b moved a worryingly towards leg stump. n.10.1 was a bouncer that made an orange-sized bruise, while n.13 was the work of a timely spin bowler who made the batsman's heart beat nervously. In the second innings, nn. 20 and 21 were a series of perfectly executed square cuts to the boundary against a lacklustre medium-pace bowler and n.28 was the devastating punishment of a short ball hooked for six over the head of long leg. n.33 was a cheeky run taken while mid-off was fumbling and n.34 was one of those drives that made the umpire dance to avoid stopping the ball. PCED declared with every chance of bowling out the liberals easily.

Hope that makes it all clear: I think Fr Withoos will understand ;-)

And now, boys and girls, it is time for "another chance to see"...

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