Summorum Pontificum

Summorum Pontificum

"Summorum Pontificum" ( _en. Of the Supreme Pontiffs) is an Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued "motu proprio" (i.e. on his own initiative). The document specified the rules, for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, for celebrating Mass according to the "Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962" (the form known as the Tridentine Mass), and for administering most of the sacraments in the form they had before the liturgical reforms following the Second Vatican Council.

The document, in force since 14 September 2007, was released on 7 July 2007, along with a letter in which Pope Benedict explained his reasons for issuing it.

The document replaced the motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" of 1988, which allowed individual bishops to establish places where Mass could be said using the 1962 Missal. It granted greater freedom to use the Tridentine liturgy in its 1962 form, stating that all priests may freely celebrate Mass with the 1962 Missal privately, without having to ask for permission from anyone. It also provided that pastors and rectors of churches should willingly accept requests from stable groups who adhere to the earlier tradition, for permission for a qualified priest to celebrate Mass for them using the 1962 Missal, and should "ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop".

In his accompanying letter, Pope Benedict explained that his action was aimed at "coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church" with Traditionalist Catholics in disagreement with the Holy See, such as the members of the Society of St. Pius X. He stated that, while it had first been thought that interest in the Tridentine Mass would disappear with the older generation that had grown up with it, some young persons too have "felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the mystery of the Eucharist particularly suited to them." In view of fears expressed while the document was in preparation, he took pains to emphasize that his decision in no way detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council and that, not only for juridical reasons, but also because the requisite "degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language" are not found very often, the Mass of Paul VI remains the "normal" form of the Roman Rite Eucharistic liturgy.

Contents of the "Motu Proprio" and accompanying letter

ummary of "Summorum Pontificum"

Pope Benedict XVI released the document after "much reflection, numerous consultations, and prayer."

In the document, he stated that the "the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 was never abrogated" [This is specified in the letter as "never juridically abrogated"] and that "in Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. [Since the 1955 reform by Pope Pius XII, private Masses are not allowed on these days using any edition of the Missal] For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary." These private Masses may "be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted."

Regarding public Masses, the Pope asked parish priests and rectors of churches to permit celebration of a Tridentine Mass on Sundays and feasts in parishes at the request of a "stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition". He also authorised parish priests, "if the good of souls would seem to require it", to permit use of the earlier ritual for the administration of Baptisms, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick and bishops, on the same condition, to use the earlier Pontifical in administering Confirmation.

Bishops are authorised to establish "personal parishes" or appoint chaplains for administering the sacraments according to the old form. The role of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" is confirmed, and recourse may be had to it to solve all difficulties, including by "a bishop who desires to make provision for requests of lay faithful ... but is for various reasons prevented from doing so."

The Pope clarified that, as a result of his "motu proprio", "the last version of the "Missale Romanum" prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council will now be able to be used as a "Forma extraordinaria" of the liturgical celebration", but that "the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the "Forma ordinaria" – of the Eucharistic Liturgy"; and that: "It is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful." [ [ Letter to the Bishops] , paragraphs 5 and 7]

The document allows what some traditionalists would call the novelty of proclaiming the Scripture readings in the vernacular language in Masses celebrated in the presence of the people (article 6), and in the accompanying letter the Pope said that "new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal", a matter that he committed for study to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

ummary of the accompanying letter

In his cover letter to the bishops, Pope Benedict declared unfounded two fears that had been expressed with regard to the change that he was making: that the change would detract from the authority of the Second Vatican Council; and that it would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities.

He recognised that "there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition." To avoid the situation whereby the desire to recover the old form of liturgy "occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorising or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear ... caus(ing) deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church", he recommended faithful observance of the Missal of Paul VI: "The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal."

Interior reconciliation

Benedict cited "interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church" as a "positive reason" for the "motu proprio". Traditionalist groups, such as the Society of St. Pius X, whose founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was excommunicated in 1988 following the Ecône Consecrations, [Holy See. [ "Ecclesia Dei"] July 2 1988] set permission to use the Tridentine Mass as a preliminary condition for engaging in any doctrinal dialogue with the Holy See. [DICI. [ The stages of the dialogue between Rome and the SSPX] 4 January 2006]

Benedict, who himself led discussions with the SSPX during his tenure as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave as a reason for making the effort represented by his motu proprio the regretted fact that, "over the centuries ... at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity" and "omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden." But he pointed out, in the same cover letter, that, "needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness." Thus, while opening the door to the Tridentine Mass, the Pope expects the SSPX to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Mass of Paul VI. SSPX Superior General, Bishop Fellay wrote, "The letter which accompanies the Motu Proprio does not hide however the difficulties that still remain." Fellay then stated that the Society is eager "after the decree of excommunication which still affects its bishops has been withdrawn—to consider more serenely the disputed doctrinal issues." [ [ Press Release from the Superior General of the SSPX.] ]

After saying in his letter to bishops, with which he accompanied the motu proprio, that "in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity", Pope Benedict added: "The reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level."

Appeal of the ancient form

Apart from the question of reconciliation with traditionalist groups, the Pope also mentioned that, immediately after the promulgation of the new form of the Mass, it was presumed that "requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it", but recognizes that "in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them." Due to this continuing appeal of the ancient form of the Mass across generational groups it was felt that cases should no longer be decided on a case-by-case basis, and that, instead the need had arisen for "clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen" in the past.

The Pope stressed: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." He continued by demanding recognition also of the "value and holiness" of celebration according to the new books.

Conditions for use of the 1962 Missal

The conditions for the use of the 1962 Missal previously in force are replaced by the following:
* In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or religious, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum (when private Masses are not allowed). For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above may—observing all the norms of law—also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted. (Articles 2 and 4)

* In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant this permission. (Article 5 §1 and §5)

:Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held. (Article 5 §2)

:For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages. (Article 5 §3)

:The priest whom the pastor or the rector of a church admits to use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded (for instance by being suspended "a divinis"). (Article 5 §4)

* Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. For a community or an entire Institute or Society to do so permanently, the major superior must decide in accordance with canon law and statutes of the Institute or Society. (Article 3)

Commenting the new rules in an interview with Vatican Radio, Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei said that "priests can decide, without permission from the Holy See or the bishop, to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite. And this holds true for all priests. It is the parish priests who must open the doors to those priests that, having the faculty [to do so] , wish to celebrate. It is not therefore necessary to ask any other permission." [ [ ZENIT - Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on "Summorum Pontificum" ] ]


The Mass is the Catholic Church's Eucharist celebration, whose basic form dates back to the earliest Apostolic Fathers. It has undergone various developments in its practice, especially in the early centuries. In response to "Sacrosanctum Concilium", the 1963 document of the Second Vatican Council, the Mass of the Roman Rite was systematically revised, leading to the publication, in 1970, of Pope Paul VI's revision of the Roman Missal, which some Traditionalist Catholics claimed constituted a rupture with what went before. Pope Benedict XVI does not share this view, stating in the letter that accompanied "Summorum Pontificum": "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture." But some traditionalists opposed the use of the new form of the liturgy and demanded what they called a universal indult whereby all priests would be allowed to use the former rite even publicly without seeking any specific authorisation.

For more than a year before the publication of "Summorum Pontificum" Vatican officials, such as Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", indicated that Pope Benedict XVI had decided to issue a document on the matter. As the date on which it was in fact issued approached, these declarations became more precise. The views of bishops in various countries and also of traditionalist groups were sought on the various drafts.

On the part of the bishops, two fears were expressed, which Pope Benedict mentioned in the letter to bishops with which he accompanied his motu proprio, declaring them unfounded. One was fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, by calling into question one of the Council's essential decisions, namely the liturgical reform. The other was fear that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. On the latter fear, the Pope commented that "the use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often", and that accordingly "it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite."

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the body charged with overseeing the implementation of the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum", commented on the worry that some have expressed, even after publication of the motu proprio, "that a small minority of believers may impose the mass of Saint Pius V on the parish". He stated: "Those who say that obviously haven't read the motu proprio. It's clear that no parish priest will be obliged to celebrate the mass of Saint Pius V. Only that if a group of the faithful, having a priest disposed to say it, asks to celebrate this mass, the parish priest or the rector of the church can't oppose it." [ [ 30Days, June/July 2007, p. 33] ]


The document was well received by supporters of the Tridentine Mass, but was also criticised by some Catholics and Jewish leaders.

Endorsements by Catholics

Most internal official reactions emphasised the wish of unity and reconciliation within the Church. Archbishop José Horacio Gomez of San Antonio, in a press statement said that he believes the letter "will open up great possibilities for reconciliation and unity with those who have shown great devotion to the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970." ... "People will be able to more clearly see the growth and progress we have realized since Vatican II, while at the same time preserving the rich heritage and legacy of the Church." [ Bishops welcome "Summorum Pontificum"] Indian Catholic, 9 July 2007.] Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, said: "On behalf of the bishops of England and Wales, I welcome the Holy Father's call for unity within the Church and especially toward those who are very attached to celebrating the Mass according to the Missal of 1962. The Bishops' Conference of Scotland said in a statement that the document "reflects the pastoral concern" of Benedict XVI "for those who find themselves drawn to that form of the Eucharistic celebration"..."a pastoral concern which the bishops of Scotland share." sharing the Pope's "concern about the unity of the Church."

An atypical reaction is that of the Chilean bishop Juan Ignacio González Errázuriz, who is reported as saying that the "motu proprio" was aimed not so much at putting an end to the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers, as to promoting unity among Chinese Catholics! [ [ Motu Propio to help Chinese Catholics] Spero News, September 13, 2007] ] However, even the parts of the Catholic Church in China that were under the control of the Government-created Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association had in fact already been using the revised form of the Mass and in the vernacular for years. [ [ Understanding the Roman Catholic Church in China] by the United States Catholic Bishops Conference]

Reactions of traditionalist Catholic groups

Various advocates for the Tridentine Mass voiced cautious optimism for the future and are now preparing for the practical aspects of the decision. In a statement, The Latin Mass Society of Ireland said: "We are very grateful to the Pope for enriching the life of the Church in this way and for enhancing legitimate liturgical diversity. In doing this Pope Benedict is building on the foundation laid by his predecessor Pope John Paul II in his 1988 motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta". [ Latin Mass societies welcome Pope's Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'] ICN, 9 July 2007.] The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales said: "Thirty-seven years ago, the Latin Mass Society was denounced by The Universe newspaper for its attachment to the Traditional Latin Rite under the banner headline, 'Latin Madness'. Today, the loyalty, determination and sufferings of the Traditional faithful have been vindicated by Pope Benedict XVI's wise and pastoral motu proprio. This [decision] puts an end to the discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion which, too often, Traditional Catholics have suffered. ... However, now is the time for the 'interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church' for which Pope Benedict calls." The Catholic Publishing House Baronius Press warmly welcomed the motu proprio and prepared to publish a special printing of their edition of the 1962 Missal around September 14 2007, the date of the coming into effect of "Summorum Pontificum".


The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which exclusively celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, "rejoice [d] at the publication of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In reaffirming the essential place of the liturgy itself in the transmission of the faith, in stating that the Missal of Blessed John XXIII may be used by all priests, and especially in encouraging the use of all four liturgical books in force in 1962, the text opens to the whole Church the treasures of these rites." The motu proprio was issued on the one year anniversary of the election of the Fraternity's current superior general, Fr. John Berg. [] The Fraternity further announced that it "will continue to look to serve the needs of the Church, and hopes that the success of the chapels and parishes already erected in the last 19 years in so many dioceses will provide encouraging examples for the document’s implementation. Our deepest gratitude to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum."


The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, which was consulted by Pope Benedict during the process, said in a statement that it "extends its deep gratitude to (Pope Benedict) for this great spiritual benefit" and "rejoices to see the Church thus regain her liturgical Tradition, and give the possibility of a free access to the treasure of the Traditional Mass ... (for those) who had so far been deprived of it". The Society, however, points out that "difficulties that still remain". It wishes that the "favorable climate established by the Holy See" will "make it possible to consider more serenely the disputed doctrinal issues" and that the decree of excommunication which still affects its bishops be withdrawn. [ [ Press Release from the General Superior of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X] Press release, July 7, 2007.]

List of Tridentine Masses in North America

A publication bearing the name [ "Official Traditional Catholic Directory: Listing All Traditional Latin Masses and Traditional Resources for North America"] (United States, Canada, and Mexico) and giving contacts for similar information on Asia (India, Malaysia) and Europe (England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland) has been published since 1994.

It includes Masses authorized by "Summorum Pontificum", but warns against "Mass under the auspices of a diocese adhering to the New Order, including Masses under the auspices of traditionalist organizations, such as the Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, High Priest". The pamphlet states: "Most diocesan services [i.e., most diocesan services of the Latin mass] are not even the Vatican II 'Mass of 1962', but a pseudo-traditional service mixed with the invalid "Novus Ordo" (New Order) service of 1969, which should be scrupulously avoided by the faithful." It further declares that the "Traditional Latin Mass and Divine Office, as before the 'modernising' revisions of 1960, and 1962", are preferable to "the Modernised Mass and Divine Office of 1962" (the form authorised by "Summorum Pontificum").

Criticism from Catholics

Some Catholics have expressed concern over "Summorum Pontificum", as they view it as reversal of progressive changes made during Vatican II. Italian bishop Luca Brandolini said, "This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop. It's a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled." [ [ Reuters, June 8 2007] ] However, he declared, "I will obey the Holy Father, because I am a bishop and because I care for the Holy Father". [ [ Rorate Caeli blog] July 8 2007]

Others have expressed concern that the loosening of the restrictions for celebration of the Mass will cause practical problems for parish priests who may be pressured to offer the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, [Heneghan, Tom. [ Latin mass a looming headache for Catholic parishes.] Washington Post Accessed 9 July 2007] and that such pressure "will seem like a standard aimed at testing the priests' loyalty to the pope." [ [ Grossman,Cathy, New rule for Latin Mass worries critics] USAToday Accessed 8 July 2007] Cardinal Castrillón responded to this concern by pointing out that the motu proprio does not oblige any priest to use the 1962 Missal: all that the parish priest or rector of a church is asked to do is to permit a stable group adhering to the earlier tradition and who have a priest disposed to use that Missal to celebrate Mass in the church. [ [ 30Days, June/July 2007] ] Only a limited number of priests actually know how to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, and a shortage of priests means that many priests already have full schedules on weekends. In response to these concerns, a number of Bishops announced their intentions to issue guidance on how to best implement "Summorum Pontificum" in their dioceses in line with the motu proprio's rule that "Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so." This includes Bishop Donald W. Trautman of the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, who indicated that those priests who celebrate such as Mass would first need to show that they have the requisite knowledge of its rubrics and of Latin. [O'Brien, Nancy Frazier [ U.S. bishops say pope affirming importance of Mass in both its forms.] Catholic News Service 12 July 2007]

Some traditionalist Catholics also have criticized "Summorum Pontificum" for not going far enough, for its insistence on accepting the "Novus Ordo Missae" as the ordinary rite of the Church, and they see its authorisation to use the 1962 Missal as a ruse to get traditionalists to compromise themselves. [H. Spigornell [ The Motu Proprio in Perspective] ]

Writer Damian Thompson, Editor-in-chief of the "Catholic Herald", "Telegraph" journalist and blogger, [ [ Holy Smoke] ] wrote on 16 November 2007 that, as a result of the publication of Pope Benedict's document of 7 July 2007, "Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor was most displeased. Last week he hit back with a 'commentary' on Summorum Pontificum. According to Murphy-O'Connor, the ruling leaves the power of local bishops untouched. In fact, it removes the bishops' power to block the ancient liturgy; the cardinal is misrepresenting its contents" [ Pope gets radical and woos the Anglicans] ]

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's words as quoted by Thompson echo those of Pope Benedict, who wrote to the bishops: "I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful"; and he invited them "to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought." [ [ Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter "motu proprio data" "Summorum Pontificum" on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970] ]

Thompson believes that Pope Benedict has a low opinion of the English bishops, and on 5 November 2007 suggested [ Holy Smoke] ] that three of them were in the mind of the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Malcolm Ranjith, when he remarked that the document "Summorum Pontificum", which had come into force on 14 September, had met with "criticisms and opposition , even from theologians, liturgists, priests, Bishops, and even Cardinals", and that "there have been, by some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim to limit the Pope's "motu proprio". These actions mask behind them, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I invite all to obey the Pope." [Reports about these remarks, made within a much longer interview to the religious news website [ Petrus] , founded and directed by [ Gianluca Barile] , but which Thompson calls "papal", appear also on [ Catholic News Agency] and other sources.]

Making a comparison between bishops attending a Mass celebrated by a visiting cardinal and attendance at the launch of a new book, Thompson also "passed on a rumour" [ [ Benedict 'annoyed' at bishops' boycott] ] that Pope Benedict was annoyed at the absence of any English bishop at the Pontifical High Mass that Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, head of Ecclesia Dei, celebrated in Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's own Westminster Cathedral on 14 June 2008.

After the Mass, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos spoke with journalists. To an unnamed conservative journalist who insisted vehemently that some bishops in England were denying permission for the old Mass to be celebrated in their dioceses, the cardinal said such cases were few. [ Ringing in the old] ] He also met with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor and, according to a statement issued by the English cardinal's office, "Cardinal Castrillón expressed his gratitude to his fellow cardinal for the generous way which the bishops of England and Wales had responded to an indult from Pope Paul VI allowing traditionalists to celebrate the old rite and for their reception of Pope Benedict's motu proprio."

Jewish reaction

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the document because the 1962 text for Good Friday includes the request asking God to "lift the veil" from Jewish hearts and to show mercy, according to one translation, "even" to the Jews", also referring to "the blindness of that people." [ "ADL head calls pope's Tridentine Mass letter a "theological setback". Catholic News Service] ] (However, Dr. John Newton, the editor of Baronius Press, has pointed out in reply to such criticisms that the prayer draws heavily on 2 Corinthians chapters 3 and 4, and the invocation for God to "lift the veil from their hearts" is a direct quote from 2 Cor 3.15.) [ Catholic Herald, May 11 2007] The ADL called the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" "a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations, after 40 years of progress between the Church and the Jewish people." [ ADL: Vatican OK of Old Mass a "body blow" to Jewish-Catholic relations] "Israelinsider" 7 July 2007] The Vatican responded by stating, "Several media reports erroneously contend that the letter could in effect reinstate a prayer offensive to Jews from the Good Friday liturgy of the Tridentine Mass, which dates back to 1570." [ [ Letter on 1962 Missal Not Anti-Semitic] Zenit: The World Seen From Rome.] The Roman-Rite Mass before 1959 contained a reference to "the perfidious Jews", which was deleted in 1959 and does not appear in the missal being permitted by "Summorum Pontificum". [ "Pope Eases Restrictions on Latin Mass"] , "New York Times", July 8 2007.] The American Jewish Committee (AJC) stated in a press release:

:"We acknowledge that the Church's liturgy is an internal Catholic matter and this "motu proprio" from Pope Benedict XVI is based on the permission given by John Paul II in 1988 and thus, on principle, is nothing new. However we are naturally concerned about how wider use of this Tridentine liturgy may impact upon how Jews are perceived and treated. We appreciate that the "motu proprio" actually limits the use of the Latin Mass in the days prior to Easter, which addresses the reference in the Good Friday liturgy concerning the Jews," Rosen added. "However, it is still not clear that this qualification applies to all situations and we have called on the Vatican to contradict the negative implications that some in the Jewish community and beyond have drawn concerning the motu proprio." [ [ AJC press release] ]

Russian Orthodox Church

Patriarch Alexius II praised the recovery and valuing of the ancient liturgical tradition of the Roman Catholic Church: "We hold very strongly to tradition" and "Without the faithful guardianship of liturgical tradition, the Russian Orthodox Church would not have been able to resist the period of persecution." [ [ Alexy II Praises Letter on 1962 Missal] Zenit, August 29, 2007.]


ee also

*"Ecclesia Dei"
*Indult Catholic
*Traditionalist Catholic
*Tridentine Mass
*Universal indult
*Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

External links

Official documents

* [ "Summorum Pontificum" (Latin text)]
* [ "Summorum Pontificum" (Latin text and English translation side by side)]
* [ Cover letter (English)]
* [ "Summorum Pontificum" and cover letter, along with analysis and commentary] from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Responses from traditionalist Catholic organizations

* [ Press Release from the Superior General of the SSPX]
* [ News from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter]
* [ Press Release from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest]


* [ Twenty Questions on the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum] The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.
* [ Nova et Vetera]
* [ Commentary on the text of the document] by Jimmy Akin

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  • Tridentine Mass — For the forms of the Mass liturgy prior to 1570, see Pre Tridentine Mass. Tridentine Mass in a chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions …   Wikipedia

  • Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei — The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is a commission of the Roman Catholic Church established by Pope John Paul II s motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of 2 July 1988 for the care of those former followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who broke with… …   Wikipedia

  • Ancienne messe — Rite tridentin Dans la liturgie catholique, le rite tridentin désigne la forme du rite romain employée dans l Église catholique entre le concile de Trente et la réforme liturgique entreprise par Paul VI à la fin des années 1960 qui fait évoluer… …   Wikipédia en Français

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