Summorum Pontificum news

The Spanish bishops’ conference has pulled from its website an article by the secretario técnico of the bishops’ committee on liturgy, Fr.Juan Mª Canals Casas, because it was thought too critical of the Pope’s motu proprio Summorum Pontifum. Bloggers brought it down. It is impolitic to speak of a “regreso a la ‘Misa Preconciliar’.” Hmmm, I guess we have to watch our words very carefully, and note which way the winds are blowing.

Here is an article from 2009 by Rob Mickens at The Tablet, still timely and not without a particular slant. It helpfully summarizes the postconciliar (may we still use that word?!) history on all this. Thanks, Rob.



  1. Since the authors of this blog do not represent an official organ of the Church such as a Bishop’s Conference Committee for Liturgy I don’t think any requests from sources inside the Vatican or from other Bishop’s in the conference will ask the website to come down, or individual article’s for that matter. My guess is that bishops in the conference itself became more aware of the article and asked that it to be removed.

    I am sure you would also agree that it would be problematic if the USCCB website for Divine Worship had an article advocating that the Vatican reject the new proposed translation. And if it were the case certain bishops of the conference would ask to have it removed if they were made aware of it by bloggers. In a similar way since the law of the Church concerning the Extraordinary Form has been decided by the highest lawgiver official organs of the magisterium really ought not be the place for criticism of a now settled law. That does not mean that critiques are unimportant, but rather there is the right place and right forum for all things.

    Finally, I read the article from Rob Mickens at the Tablet and found it fascinating, but we should also remember that in the 1960’s many of the bishops reacted negatively to the New Order of Mass when it was first introduced to them during the Synod of Bishops in 1967. If I am remembering correctly similar polls of Bishops at the time thought that communion on the tongue should be continued and communion in the hand should not be tolerated. So the suggestion in the article that bishops opinions are ignored by the Vatican on account of individual cardinals or groups of them would seem to cut both ways.

  2. Summorum Pontificum is Church law…not a viewpoint expressed by some curial official. I understand that it is still somewhat “new”, but it needs to stop being treated as some kind of opinion or fringe viewpoint. It is a part of the Catholic faith now.

    It seems that Traditionalist bloggers objected to references to the 1962 Missal as the “Pre-Conciliar Liturgy” among other things…admittedly such language is used by opponents of SP to reinforce the “turning back the clock” argument.

    One statement in the article that I found humorous was the assertion that Summorum Pontificum was intended to pacify those Catholics who are faithful to the Pope. Maybe it’s a translation thing, but aren’t all Catholics in that group?

    Also odd is that the article itself is not all that “out there” compared to similar statements and articles by Bishops elsewhere who felt the need to let their opinions be known.

  3. Yes – you’re both right – bloggers called attention to it, it became an issue, and the proper authorities made a decision. Sorry that my blog shorthand wasn’t clear.

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