Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summorum Pontificum Notes

It has now been nearly a month since the Pope issued his watershed motu proprio (and I do believe it will be a watershed document, both right now and in the future) Summorum Pontificum. A few interesting developments - trends if you will - seem to be developing among the faithful and the bishops that I have observed and are worth noting.

The first is (and this is something that I noticed both in myself and in a lot - maybe all - of the goings on online about this document) is the stark contrast between what the document really says and how people are reacting to it. Summorum Pontificum is above all else a power-to-the-people document. I takes decision making directly out of the hands of the Bishops and puts it into the hands of the priests and the people. To a large degree, the Bishops are taken "out of the loop". Why then is everyone so focused on the reaction of the Bishops?? Is it because we still subconciously look to them as the shepherds of their flocks, i.e. us? Or is it because we know that THEY are where the power lies and, no matter what the Pope says, they are not going to let go of any of their power?

This is, I think, a possible achilles heel to the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. If a Bishop lets the impression be made that he wants nothing to do with the Mass of John XXIII in his diocese, then it will simply not happen. Not without either a STRONG priest or an overwhelming number of requests from the faithful at a parish - probably at least as many as attend the least attended Mass on Sunday. Those kind of numbers would make it undeniable.

But mostly, what will happen is what I see personally around here, which is priests being willing, even happy, about the old mass, but not wanting to do it without the Bishops okay. Even though it is technically unnecessary, they want to know the Bishop supports them. Let's pray that that support is forthcoming soon, or that the Holy Spirit moves these priests to action one way or the other.

NOTHING will happen, though, if everyone who is interested in this EVERYONE. Doesn't get moving, get calling get emailing, get praying, and get ready to DO WHATEVER IS REQUIRED to make this happen.

1 comment:

Carolina Cannonball said...