The question of what constitutes a coetus fidelium (“group of the faithful”)
One of the issues that had become contentious after the promulgation of the Motu Proprio was the determination of what constituted a group of the faithful. The instruction establishes that a “group of the faithful” can be said to be existing in a stable manner, according to the sense of art. 5 § 1 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, when it is constituted by some people of an individual parish who, even came together after the publication of the Motu Proprio, by reason of their veneration for the Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, and who ask that it might be celebrated in the parish church or in an oratory or chapel; such a “group” can also be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses, who gather together in a specific parish church or in an oratory or chapel for this purpose.(35) For this group the Instruction does not establish a number of members so it could be very small. The Instruction affirms also that in sanctuaries and places of pilgrimage the possibility to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria is to be offered to groups of pilgrims who request it as mandated in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 5 § 3, if there is a qualified priest.(36) Common sense indicates that group of pilgrims going to a shrine should be accompanied by a priest capable of offering the extraordinary form.
The acceptance of the Validity and Legitimacy of the ordinary form
The Instructions establishes that “The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.” (37) It is evident that attacking the validity of the ordinary form is a very serious problem because it puts into question the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church. With regards to the legitimacy it regards the acceptance of the power of the Holy Father to reform the liturgy and promulgate a new missal. At the same time we should underline that many faithful who certainly accept the validity and the legitimacy of the Mass of Paul VI have been deeply shocked by the abuses of this form of the Mass. Cardinal Ratzinger points out that, “While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek a refuge in the Traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there. After the council there were many priests who deliberately raised “desacralization” to the level of a program, on the plea that the New Testament abolished the cult of the Temple: the veil of the Temple which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross is, according to certain people, the sign of the end of the sacred. The death of Jesus, outside the City walls, that is to say, in the public world, is now the true religion. Religion, if it has any being at all, must have it in the nonsacredness of daily life, in love that is lived. Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things.” (38)
These words of the future Pontiff show that it does not constitute a form of deligitimization to make observations on the way that the ordinary form of the Mass is celebrated. Neither it is to formulate suggestions to improve the ordinary form. We can mention here several observations made by Nicolas Bux. He points out that the praying of the canon facing the people contributes to confirm the impression that the Mass is a fraternal meal. He criticizes the total substitution of Latin by the vernacular. The transformation of the altar into a table. Pushing to a side of the Church the tabernacle that it is substituted by the seat or throne of the priest. The abolition of the sacred enclosure of the sanctuary and the installation of the baptismal font in the sanctuary. (39) It is also perfectly fitting to promote that for the Liturgy of the Eucharist the whole congregation including the priest be directed towards the Lord and that is expressed by turning toward the altar, as Fr. Uwe Lang strongly suggests. (40)
In the young when they encounter for the first time the traditional liturgy of the Church there is no question of discussing the validity or the legitimacy of the new liturgy, even many of them may not understand the meaning of these words. What they experience is the sense of marvel with a liturgy that brings them closer to the infinite majesty of God which is a longing that the Lord has inscribed in our immortal souls at the movement of their creation. It is a feeling that it is akin to sense of marvel that the Kievan envoys found when they first entered Santa Sophia. It is also the joy of rediscovering a heritage, of finding their roots, in other words of finding a long lost family. A family is formed by brethren, but also parents and ancestors. A family that would give to them a common heritage and what is more important a common and reassuring future that will be built on a well grounded identity. (41)
Who can be considered a qualified priest? (Sacerdos idoneus)
The Instruction starts from the general principle that “Every Catholic priest who is not impeded by Canon Law is to be considered idoneus (“qualified”) for the celebration of the Holy Mass in the forma extraordinaria.” With regards to the use of the Latin language, the instruction takes a very reasonable position and it requires only a basic knowledge that will allow the priest to pronounce the words correctly and understand their meaning. It will be absurd to require this knowledge of Latin from the faithful as a commentator of the Motu proprio indicates.(42) He insists that the faithful have to understand what is being celebrated. At the same time it will be a praiseworthy activity to try teaching some Latin to the faithful. It also takes a benevolent approach on the knowledge a priest might have of how to celebrate the extraordinary form. “Regarding knowledge of the execution of the Rite, priests are presumed to be qualified who present themselves spontaneously to celebrate the forma extraordinaria, and have celebrated it previously.” This provision puts an end to some excessive requests of some dioceses that through severe testing were trying to limit the priests that could be considered qualified.
With regards to formation the Instruction has two provisions. Priests who desire to celebrate in the extraordinary form should be offered by their bishop the possibility of acquiring the adequate preparation in this form of the Mass. With regards to seminarians the Instruction reiterates the command of the Code of Canon Law that seminarians should be taught Latin well. The question is to what extent this provision is of the Code is observed worldwide? With regards to the formation in the extraordinary form of seminarians the command is placed in rather weak way because it is conditioned by “where pastoral needs suggest it”.(43)
“In Dioceses without qualified priests, Diocesan Bishops can request assistance from priests of the Institutes erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, either to the celebrate the forma extraordinaria or to teach others how to celebrate it.” (44) If we have the case that a Diocese does not have qualified priests and the Bishop refuses to call priests from the Institutes erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei voiding the right of the faithful to have access to the forma extraordinaria this will be a typical case that could be brought up to the Commission for resolution.
Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Discipline
The celebrants of the extraordinary form must be watchful like many priests in the past to carefully observe the rubrics. In this regard, Universae Ecclesiae is absolutely clear: “The liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria are to be used as they are. All those who wish to celebrate according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite must know the pertinent rubrics and are obliged to follow them correctly.”(45) Interestingly enough we can see the relation of this article with what it is stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.”(46) This applies to both the ordinary and the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Following carefully the rubrics has to be considered a moral obligation of the priest. More so there is an important aspect of the spirituality of the traditional liturgy that connected with this duty. The priest, like Christ, empties himself and does what the rubrics demand from him and avoids inserting his personality in the Mass. As a matter of fact part of the beauty of the traditional liturgy is grounded on the obligation that it has to be celebrated always in precisely the same manner by all priests in all places.
It is very positive that the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae has clarified many points that have been discussed in the last few years, including the obligation of the faithful to receive communion on the tongue, and the requirement that only male acolytes are permitted. The opinion had been advanced that all the laws of the Church that regulated the use of the Missal and the Sacraments in 1962 had been derogated and the revival of the 1962 Missal does not automatically revive those legal norms. The shocking consequence of this interpretation is that altar girls and the reception of Communion in the hand could have been a be a legal possibility in using this Missal. We should also note that even without the instruction that position is clearly erroneous.(47) In a recent letter of May 19th 2011, the Secretary of the Ecclesiae Dei Commission explained to a faithful in England that in accordance with art. 28 of the Instruction mentioned above, the Circular Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of 1994 permitting female altar servers does not apply to the Extraordinary form. By a similar reasoning communion in the tongue and kneeling is mandated and female readers are not permitted.
The Motu Proprio in its art. 6th had permitted the use of the vernacular for the readings using editions recognized by the Holy See. Art 26 of the Instruction declares that the readings can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, only in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular. We should note that the Instruction limits this option of using the vernacular solely to Low Masses.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
In the regulation that Instruction makes of the disciplines of Holy Orders in the extraordinary form we find two novelties that were not in the Motu Proprio. First, it decides that tonsure, minor orders and the subdiaconate, even if they are maintained, do not have juridical consequences. “As regards tonsure, minor orders and the subdiaconate, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum does not introduce any change in the discipline of the Code of Canon Law of 1983; consequently, in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, one who has made solemn profession or who has been definitively incorporated into a clerical institute of apostolic life, becomes incardinated as a cleric in the institute or society upon ordination to the diaconate, in accordance with canon 266 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law.”(49) This norm has been criticized as being opposed to the principle recalled in n. 3 of the instruction concerning adherence to “the usages universally handed down by apostolic and unbroken tradition.” This opens an interesting question because minor orders, even if they are not part of apostolic tradition, can be considered part of tradition. At the same time is positive that they can still be given because the recipients obviously receive a spiritual benefit in their path towards the priesthood.
Second, with regards to the granting of the Sacrament of Holy Orders the Instruction establishes, “Only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and in those which use the liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria, is the use of the Pontificale Romanum of 1962 for the conferral of minor and major orders permitted.”(50) We can ask ourselves if this norm of the Instruction respects the principle of equivalence between the two forms of the Latin Rite? This norm establishes a limitation that is not contained in the Motu Proprio. At the same time it seems evident that a Bishop wishing to use the Sacrament of Holy Orders could always ask for an indult from the Commission to use it. The above mentioned restrictions would lead to the interpretation that save especial cases like the ordination of a new bishop or an auxiliary bishop of the Personal Apostolic Administration Saint John Marie Vianney this will have to be done in the Ordinary Rite or by seeking permission through an indult.
It should be noted that on October 23, 2011 the Bishop of Frejus-Toulon, Bishop Dominique Rey, ordained a new priest for his diocese using the 1962 Pontifical. The new priest, Fr. Jean Christophe Pelegri, was ordained by Msgr. Rey to the diaconate on May 11 of this year, only two days before the promulgation of Universae Ecclesiae. We might presume that Bishop Rey obtained permission of Ecclesia Dei Commission to do this ordination or that he considers that this norm is not applicable.
The restrictions with regards to minor orders and the granting of the Sacrament of Holy Orders might lead to different traditionalists to petition for the approval of special canonical legislation that should take into account the particular traits of the extraordinary form.
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum put an end to a long controversy whether it was licit for clerics that have the legal obligation to pray the Holy Office to fulfil this duty by praying the Breviary promulgated by Blessed John XXIII. It established that it could be rightfully used.
The instruction clarifies that the 1962 breviary has to be prayed entirely and in the Latin language. There are two authorized versions of the 1962 breviary: one containing the psalms of the Vulgata and the other containing a translation made by the Professors of Pontifical Biblical Institute and approved by Pius XII in 1945. It is also called the Bea version because at that time the future Cardinal Agustin Bea was the rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and had an important influence on Pius XII because he was his confessor. This new translation has some limitations: 1. The classical Latin used in this translation does not match well the late Latin of the Vulgata, of the Fathers, and of the liturgy. 2. The new version could be used only for the full psalms, but not for other parts of the breviary taken from the psalms. As a consequence, the correspondences between the Psalter, the antiphons, the small verses and the responsories became less evident. 3. It is more difficult to sing. For that reasons it is strongly advisable to use the breviary that contains the vulgata psalter.
Laymen should be encouraged to pray the breviary either as a whole or using the key hours like lauds and vespers. Layman also can pray the breviary in the vernacular or use a bilingual edition. They will receive great supernatural benefits and this prayer will lead them to understand better the unity and beauty of the traditional liturgy that forms an integrated whole where the Mass is at the center. At the same time, using the principle of equity, nothing would impede a cleric from using a bilingual edition of the breviary in as much as he uses the vernacular only to improve his understanding of the Latin.
The Sacred Triduum
With regards to the Sacred Triduum the Instruction establishes “If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium (“group of faithful”), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.”(51) This is an important clarification because some bishops had ruled that the Extraordinary Form was not to be celebrated in any way during the Easter Triduum – from the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday through to Solemn Vigil of Easter Sunday. This is clearly an erroneous interpretation. Article 2 of the Motu Proprio states precisely that a priest can celebrate Masses without the people on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. This clearly should be understood in the context that in neither of the liturgical forms are Masses without the people permitted during the Easter Triduum. The Missal of 1962 is very precise in its rubrics for Holy Thursday, forbidding the celebration of other Masses besides the solemn celebration of the evening Mass in Coena Domini. So there is no basis in law to state that the Easter Triduum cannot be celebrated in accordance with the Missal of 1962 in ceremonies with the presence of the people.
The Rites of Religious Orders
The Instruction in its official English translation establishes “The use of the liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted.”(52) A proper translation should state, “Members of religious orders may use their own liturgical books as in force in 1962” This clarification is important because the right of using those books does not belong to the orders, but to the members. So as an example a Dominican priest is free to use either the Roman Missal of 1962 or the Missal of his order that was in effect in 1962.
We are committed to the celebration of a liturgy that gives us a “glimpse of Heaven on earth.” (53) But as true Catholics we do not want to keep this glimpse for ourselves but we want to share it first and foremost with all our fellow Catholics and second with the entire world. The Pope has expressed with dramatic tones the tragedy of the passing away of the faith in many parts of the world. We have to launch again our missionary efforts but we have to be fully aware that without a recovery of our liturgical worship, none of the efforts of New Evangelization will be successful. The Holy Father recently pointed out that to bear witness to our faith; we have to be aware that “it is not by watering the faith down, but by living it today in its fullness that we achieve this.” (53A)
We have to develop the virtue of magnanimity as St. Thomas defines it, “by its very name denotes stretching forth of the mind to great things.” (54) So we have to forgive all the ones that offended and persecuted us in particular within the Church. As Fr. Cipolla suggests in a recent article we have to move out from a bunker mentality and build bridges within the Church. (55)
Cardinal Ratzinger has denounced the “dangerous tendency to minimalise the sacrificial nature of the Mass”(56) One of the causes of this tendency is the passing away of the penitential spirit within many members of the Church. Consequently, the reestablishment of meatless Fridays in England and Wales could help to restore the sense of the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
Much needs to done and still there is long road ahead of us, but we also have to be grateful to the Lord of all that has been achieved in the last twenty seven years since the promulgation of the special indult Quattuor abhinc anno in 1984. The Instruction Universae Ecclesiae is a good step forward that would allow us to move ahead. The name in itself is a valuable program, because it underlines that the immemorial liturgy is a great good not only for the growing minority that benefits from it today, but for the whole Church.
We have to have a profound hope that the liturgy of the Latin Church will be restored. Our confidence comes first and foremost from our certainty that it is the will of the Lord. Second, our confidence also comes from how the process of restoration is moving ahead. We are seeing concrete signs for which we have to be very grateful to the Lord. We have to be grateful to the Lord as Cardinal Domenico Bertolucci pointed out that we are living in the midst of a true and proper reawakening by so many young people, who wish to relive the beauty of the Latin Mass and the greater spiritual fruit derived from it.(57) Third, last but not least, because this restoration is needed to save the souls of the millions and millions that are walking in darkness. We need a great torch to bring them to Christ and in the liturgy we have that light.
1. Instruction Universae Ecclessiae 2.
2. Interview given by Mons. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Commission Ecclesiae Dei to Nouvelles de France, June 9th 2011. http://www.santuariodivinamaternita.com/Sito/Documenti/110608_monsPozzo_IntervistaNouvellesFrance.pdf
3. Interview given by Mons. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Commission Ecclesiae Dei to Nouvelles de France, June 9th 2011, cit.
6. Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, “Vicesimus quintus annus” On the 25th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Conciliar Constitution of “Sacrosantum Concilium” on the Sacred Liturgy, 4th December 1988, n. 14.
7. Benedict XVI, Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia Offering them his Christmas Greetings, Thursday, December 22nd, 2005.
8. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1986, p. 83.
9. Address by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, given July 13, 1988, in Santiago, Chile before that nation’s bishops. The Wanderer June 22, 2000.
10. Nicola Bux, La crise liturgique, conséquence de la crise ecclésiologique, http://www.clerus.org/clerus/dati/2008-09/09-20/La_crise_liturgique.html
11. Paolo Farinella, Ritorno all’Antica Messa, Gabrielli Editori, 2007, St. Pietro in Cariano (VR).
12. Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, Concerning the Remisission of the Excommunication of the Four Bishops Consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre of March 10th, 2009.
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/, 9-02-2011, http://blog.messainlatino.it/2011/09/discorso-del-card-bartolucci.html 9-03-2011.
13. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 2.
14. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 28
15. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, “Ten Years of the Motu Proprio “Eccleia Dei” Sunday October 24th, 1998 Rome. http://web.archive.org/web/20020702085721/http://www.latin-mass.org/ratzinger.html
16. Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, “Vicesimus quintus annus” n. 16.
17. Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, “Vicesimus quintus annus” n.9.
18. Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, “Vicesimus quintus annus”, n. 11
19. “13. Side by side with these benefits of the liturgical reform, one has to acknowledge with regret deviations of greater or lesser seriousness in its application. On occasion there have been noted illicit omissions or additions, rites invented outside the framework of established norms; postures or songs which are not conducive to faith or to a sense of the sacred; abuses in the practice of general absolution; confusion between the ministerial priesthood, linked with Ordination, and the common priesthood of the faithful, which has its foundation in Baptism. It cannot be tolerated that certain priests should take upon themselves the right to compose Eucharistic Prayers or to substitute profane readings for texts from Sacred Scripture. Initiatives of this sort, far from being linked with the liturgical reform as such, or with the books which have issued from it, are in direct contradiction to it, disfigure it and deprive the Christian people of the genuine treasures of the Liturgy of the Church.It is for the bishops to root out such abuses, because the regulation of the Liturgy depends on the bishop within the limits of the law and because “the life in Christ of his faithful people in some sense is derived from and depends on him”.” Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, “Vicesimus quintus annus”, n. 13.
20. Redemptionis Sacramentum, 4.
21. Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, cit, p. 81
22. Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, Prefazione, to Introibo ad altare Dei by Elvis Cuneo – Daniele Di Sorco – Raimondo Mameli, Fede & Cultura, Verona, 2008, p. 7.
23. Gabriel Díaz Patri, El Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” y la pacificación de la Iglesia, http://www.clerus.org/clerus/dati/2008-10/16-20/El_MP_y_la_pacificacion_de_la_Iglesia.html
L’attività della Santa Sede 2010, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 2011, p. 939.
24. “Art. 11. The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, erected by John Paul II in 1988 (5), continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it. Art. 12. This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions.”
25. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 9.
26. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 10.1
27. “GUIDELINES REGARDING CELEBRATION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF MASS Diocese of Great Falls-Billings
Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, (MPSP) article 5.2 notwithstanding, celebrating the Extraordinary Form on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in parishes of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings as a regular Mass of obligation is not allowed at this time. [Parishioners in these instances may be drawn away from celebrating at the regular Mass for Sunday or Holy Day].
Indiscriminate mixing of elements of the Novus Ordo and elements of the Extraordinary Form is not allowed. Norms for each form are to be observed correctly [N.B. Instruction on the Application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, #24].
MPSP, article 5.3 notwithstanding, celebration of ritual Masses (funerals, weddings, etc.) in the Extraordinary Form is not allowed at this time in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. A priest must contact the Bishop in advance to ask for any exception to this policy and demonstrate pastoral consideration by not imposing the Extraordinary Form on a parish in these instances.
Altar Servers for the Extraordinary Form must be properly trained.
N.B.: It is important to remember that the Extraordinary Form generally does not enable full, active participation by the assembly which was called for by Vatican II. While the Extraordinary Form holds a definite place in the liturgical tradition of the Church, it does not meet the spiritual needs of the large portion of Church membership today.”
28. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 10.2.
29. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 11
30. Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio Data” on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the Reform of 1970.
31. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 25
L’attività della Santa Sede 2010, cit, p. 940.
32. Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, cit, pp. 81-82.
33. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 12. “Can. 34 §1. Instructions clarify the prescripts of laws and elaborate on and determine the methods to be observed in fulfilling them. They are given for the use of those whose duty it is to see that laws are executed and oblige them in the execution of the laws. Those who possess executive power legitimately issue such instructions within the limits of their competence. §2. The ordinances of instructions do not derogate from laws. If these ordinances cannot be reconciled with the prescripts of laws, they lack all force. §3. Instructions cease to have force not only by explicit or implicit revocation of the competent authority who issued them or of the superior of that authority but also by the cessation of the law for whose clarification or execution they were given.”
34. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n 13.
35. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 15.
36. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 18.
37. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 19.
38. Address by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, given July 13, 1988, in Santiago, Chile, cit.
39. Nicola Bux, La crise liturgique, conséquence de la crise ecclésiologique, cit.
40. U.M. Lang, Turning towards the Lord – Orientation in Liturgical Prayer, Foreword by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004, p. 122.
41. Gabriel Díaz Patri, El Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” y la pacificación de la Iglesia, cit.
42. Testo dell’intervista rilasciata a Zenit (20 giugno) dal prof. Manlio Sodi a Antonio Gaspari sul tema: “Ha ancora senso studiare latino e greco?” http://www.oratoriosanfilippo.org/21-06-2011.html
43. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 21.
44. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 22.
45. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 24
46. Sacrosanctum Concilium 22 §3
47. This position even without the Instruction is clearly erroneous for the following reasons:
First, in the Motu Proprio we do not have a revival of a previous rite which had been derogated, but to the contrary, due to the explicit legally binding declaration contained in Article 1 of this law, we have the very strong affirmation that the Missal of 1962 had never been abrogated. As a consequence, all the norms that regulate the way in which it should be used, are now in force. The contrary opinion is not reasonable because it would mean that the Missal would be in existence without the necessary support of all the norms that regulate its use; it is tantamount to affirming that this Missal exists in a legal vacuum. It is abhorrent to any sane legal interpretation of any law to postulate that something should live in a legal vacuum.
Second, we have to consider the basic principle of legal interpretation that states that whoever wishes the principal also desires what is accessory. So if the Supreme Legislator of the Church has decreed that the Missal of 1962 has never been derogated, he is also stating explicitly that all the norms that regulated that Missal were not derogated either. It is evident that the normative corpus that regulates the use of this Missal is an integral accessory to the Missal.
Third, this law like any other law of the Church has to be interpreted in accordance with the hermeneutic of continuity; in accordance with this interpretative criterion, it is evident that the laws that accompanied the Missal of 1962 at its promulgation should guide its way now in the present. To propose that it is legally possible to have female altar servers or to give communion in the hand when using the Missal of 1962 would be a clear case of the hermeneutic of discontinuity which, as I stated earlier, the Holy Father denounced in his address to the Roman Curia.
Fourth, we have to interpret this law like any other law with an spirit of coherence. It is co-natural with the Missal of 1962 that it is highly regulated in such a way that the celebrant of this Mass is always guided by precise and concrete norms and that nothing is left to the spirit of invention of the celebrant. So, it is co-natural with the Motu Proprio that all the legal norms that regulated the 1962 Missal when it was issued, still regulate it now the use of this Missal has been declared to be the right of the faithful.
Fifth, the view that the legal apparatus that supported the 1962 Missal has been derogated is against the spirit of the Motu Proprio, which wishes to preserve the style that governed the celebration of the liturgy in accordance with the Missal of St Pius V and to restore a sense of respectful reverence to divine worship. It is evident that practices such as girl altar servers or communion in the hand are alien to the spirit and style that preside the celebration of the liturgy in accordance with the Missal of St Pius V. Sixth, the erroneous interpretations I have outlined above would be detrimental to one of the purposes of this law, which is to obtain a healing of the divisions that sadly affect the Church in our times. It is evident that such interpretations would not be accepted by different persons or groups (such as the Society of St Pius X) who are currently not in due canonical union with the Church.
49. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 30.
50. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, 31 http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/
51. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 33.
52. Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 34.
53. Blessed John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Spiritus et Sponsa, On the 40th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy “Sacrosantum Concilium”, December 4th, 2003, n. 16.
53A. Benedict XVI, Address at the Meeting with Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Chapter Hall of the Former Augustinian Convent, Erfurt, Friday, 23 September 2011
54. S.T. II-II, q. 129, a. 1.
55. Rev. Richard Cipolla, Still a Landmark, The Traditionalist, Winter 2011, p. 43.
56. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Ten Years of the Motu Proprio “Eccleia Dei” cit.
57. Cardinal Domenico Bertolucci, the greatest living musician of the Church, at a concert where his compositions were played in the presence of the Holy Father in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo on Agust 31st made very explicit declarations on the value of the immemorial liturgy of the Church: “Then, the times unfortunately changed. But today, a true a proper reawakening by so many young people, who wish to relive the beauty of the Latin Mass and the greater spiritual fruit derived from it, can be noticed with great satisfaction; this is great, a very great comfort. And it makes us hope for a liturgical future certainly desired by Your Holiness. We thank the Lord, that he may help all those who are working for seriousness in sacred music. I firmly trust that, we the help of God, a true return to the bimillenary tradition of sacred music will take place.” http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/, 9-02-2011, http://blog.messainlatino.it/2011/09/discorso-del-card-bartolucci.html 9-03-2011.