Pope To Abolish Summorum Pontificum?

ROME, July 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Sources inside the Vatican suggest that Pope Francis aims to end Pope Benedict XVI’s universal permission for priests to say the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. While the course of action would be in tune with Pope Francis’ repeatedly expressed disdain for the TLM especially among young people, there has been no open discussion of it to date.

Sources in Rome told LifeSite last week that liberal prelates inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith were overheard discussing a plan ascribed to the Pope to do away with Pope Benedict’s famous document that gave priests freedom to offer the ancient rite of the Mass.

Catholic traditionalists have just celebrated the tenth anniversary of the document, Summorum Pontificum. Pope Benedict XVI issued it in 2007, giving all Latin Rite priests permission to offer the TLM without seeking permission of their bishops, undoing a restriction placed on priests after the Second Vatican Council.

The motu proprio outraged liberal bishops as it stripped them of the power to forbid the TLM, as many did. Previously priests needed their bishop’s permission to offer the TLM.
Additionally, Summorum Pontificum stated that wherever a group of the faithful request the TLM, the parish priests should willingly agree to their request.

The overheard plans are nearly identical to comments from an important Italian liturgist in an interview published by France’s La Croix earlier this month. Andrea Grillo a lay professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St Anselmo in Rome, billed by La Croix as “close to the Pope,” is intimately familiar Summorum Pontificum. Grillo in fact published a book against Summorum Pontificum before the papal document was even released.
Grillo told La Croix that Francis is considering abolishing Summorum Pontificum. According to Grillo, once the Vatican erects the Society of Saint Pius X as a Personal Prelature, the Roman Rite will be preserved only within this structure. “But [Francis] will not do this as long as Benedict XVI is alive.”

The plan, as related to LifeSite, involved making an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X and, with that agreement in place, sequestering those Catholics wanting the TLM to the SSPX. For most, that would strip them of access to the TLM since there would not be nearly enough SSPX priests to service Catholics wanting the TLM worldwide.

Moreover, LifeSite’s source suggested that the plan may explain a May 20, 2017 letter by the recently ousted Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller. Even though Cardinal Müller wanted the SSPX fully reconciled to help fight modernists in the Church, the May 20 letter seemed to scuttle an agreement between Pope Francis and the SSPX which would see them get a personal prelature. The letter includes provisions long known to be completely unacceptable to the SSPX, thus nullifying an understanding SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay believed was imminent.

The LifeSite source suggested that the May 20 letter by Muller perhaps was written because he knows what Francis was up to and wanted to avoid the plan to bury Summorum Pontificum with Pope Benedict. “It’s directed not so much against Fellay but against the agreement,” said the source. “Pope Francis was very angry that document came out from Cardinal Muller and some say that’s why he made the decision to dismiss him.”  Source

Comment:

One glimmer of hope in this pontificate is the rising opposition of some clergy – click here to read more

Of course, the Scots clergy are a meek lot, and unlikely to rebel unless their bishop, too, rebels – and then, voila!  Good career move.  I’d better watch – I’m in danger of becoming cynical…

Share your thoughts – especially on the possible link between the Pope’s apparent enthusiasm for a Personal Prelature for the SSPX and his suspected intention to abolish the provisions of Summorum Pontificum so that ONLY SSPX priests will be able to offer the TLM. Surely that can’t be… what about the other traditional Mass groups – FSSP, Institute of Christ the King?  What would those priests do – join the SSPX? What!  But they set up shop to distance themselves from that “schismatic” bunch…  Irony of ironies! 

27 responses

  1. Well, you’ve got to hand it to the devil and his prodigies – they are very crafty tempters of the human soul.

    He is holding out the prospects of an incredible power-grab to lure the SSPX back into full regularity while at the same time marginalizing Tradition. It would not only create a dilemma for other traditional socities of priests and religious, but it would affect all those clergy and laity who have been advancing the Faith within the body of diocesan churches.

    It would make it oh-so-easy for him to isolate and dismiss all those “trouble-makers” and exclude them from any advancement and influence on the world-wide Church.

    This would explain an awful lot – not least why the hater of Tradition is so keen to get an agreement with the SSPX, and why the SSPX have been relatively quiet over all the recent controversies.

    Is it a sin to hope that Frankie dies before Benny? Tough – I hope it anyway and will take the consequences.

    • Deacon Augustine,

      This is another reason why the SSPX should not even THINK of regularization until the next pontificate. Consider this scenario:

      The SSPX regularizes under a personal prelature. The “regularized” SSPX is the only group allowed to offer the TLM. Either join the SSPX or go NO. The media (Catholic and msm) dissects and analyzes every angle. Things calm down.

      Then POW! SP is overturned, the rules for the “regularized” SSPX are changed in mid-stream. The SSPX protests, the Vatican says “we make the rules, take it or leave it”. Some say “we’re going back to the way we were”, others leave the Church, some accept the new conditions. All three groups say they’re following +Archbishop Lefebvre. The Vatican takes advantage of the divided SSPX a la 1988 and it is suppressed. Then what?

      Meanwhile, the Latin faithful are in a quandary. Where do you go to Mass? The “regularized” SSPX, those who say that they’re the real heirs of +Archbishop Lefebvre, an independent priest who may or may not pray for the pope in the Canon.

      I know I’m being a pessimist here, but you have to look ahead. These bureaucrats who despise the TLM (which is the rightful patrimony of the Latin Church) are shooting themselves in the foot.

      If you look at Scripture and various prophecies made over the centuries, there will come a point where the Mass (I.e. the TLM) almost ceases to exist. (The “continual sacrifice” in Scripture)

      In the memoirs of Sister Lucia, St. Jacinta was shown a vision of people walking on the road, hungry because they had no food to eat. Obviously, there’s famine in various countries. But it can have a mystical meaning too: People will be spiritually hungry – for God in the Holy Eucharist, spiritual guidance, spiritual nourishment of the sacraments.

      Imho, the real reason why the Third Secret of Fatima was never revealed is because there MUST be something in there about the Mass. If it was about physical famine (part of the Second Secret) or any physical calamity, it would have been revealed long ago.

      The SSPX should stay put for now. I know you and Athanasius don’t agree but that’s my 5£ for now.

      In Christ the King,

      Margaret 🇺🇸

      • Actually I think you are correct and they should stay put for now, Margaret. I suspect though that Francis had plans to unilaterally regularize them without conditions, and if these were to come about the SSPX might not have much choice in the matter.

        I can see how recent comments from Muller would indeed jeopardize plans such as these.

  2. What I find intriguing, but far fetched, is the notion that Cardinal Muller scuppered the chance of a Personal Prelature at this time to save Summorum Pontificum! It just doesn’t seem likely to me.

    I would like to know what the few priests in Scotland who have implemented SP will do if Pope Francis does scrap it.

    • Yes, it does seem a bit like wishful thinking. I think it more likely that Muller is just a bit of a V2-fundamentalist.

    • “I would like to know what the few priests in Scotland who have implemented SP will do if Pope Francis does scrap it.”

      That, Petrus, is the 65,000 dollar/euro/pound sterling question.

  3. I would be very surprised if Francis did try to torpedo Summorum Pontificum. (And I certainly hope he doesn’t try).

    There are ample Bishops who already make things difficult or impossible for priests inclined to say the traditional mass. Francis is probably content to hide behind them – after all, why take any (more) flak himself, when he can already count on modernist prelates to widely undermine the TLM.

    It would be a very unpopular move with the SSPX given Summorum Pontificum was a reassuring development in their eyes, in terms of the Church becoming more tolerant of its own traditions. And so this would be at loggerheads with the admittedly reasonable treatment they have received from Francis thus far (though of course incoherence is his speciality).

    Such a move would also probably strengthen the SSPX, given refugees from Diocesan TLMs would be seeking somewhere to go. (And the development would also awaken them to the fact that the SSPX has been right all along.) And we would perhaps see more young men entering SSPX seminaries, rather than Diocesan ones.. So the move would be like modernists shooting themselves in the foot.

    And other priestly groups like the FSSP, ICKSP etc are by this time well developed in terms of their own sense of identity etc and so I doubt they would wish to be rolled into an SSPX prelature (even if it would be a positive thing for them, to be influenced by the Society!). Plus, the suggestion of rolling everyone together under the SSPX would not work for Diocesan priests who have made vows to a particular Diocese.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I didn’t get the impression that the other traditional groups would be rolled into the SSPX, but simply outlawed – which would probably create quite an uproar. If that is the real plan (and who knows, at this point!), I’m sure it will either appear in a footnote a la AL, or, since Francis’ hubris grows more depraved by the day, perhaps an outright dictat.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      “Such a move would also probably strengthen the SSPX, given refugees from Diocesan TLMs would be seeking somewhere to go. (And the development would also awaken them to the fact that the SSPX has been right all along.) “

      I wish I could say that you were right there, but my experience of those who attend the SP Masses in Glasgow, is quite the reverse. Some of the most confused souls you are ever likely to meet, are to be found at those Masses.

      They will talk you to death about the awful things Papa Francis has said and done -to the point where at least one of them has expressly called him the anti-Christ and she believes that Benedict is still pope. Yet, attend an SSPX Mass? Gosh! Can’t do that! They’re in an irregular situation if not in outright schism!

      Incredible stuff. I listen to it with jaw close to my ankles. Truly, you couldn’t make it up, so I wouldn’t count on too many “refugees” from Diocesan TLMs. Remember, these are people who often will attend the novus ordo to fulfil their Sunday obligation. Goodness, the Chairman of Una Voce attends the novus ordo to fulfil his Sunday obligation!

      GK Chesterton summed Catholicism up as: “A steak, a glass of wine and a good cigar” to which I would add: “and a sense of humour”!

      • Editor,

        As the old saying goes, the shepherd has been struck and the sheep have been scattered – and when the sheep wander back around, it’s invariably with some very strange ideas…not to mention some very strange personalities! I almost get the impression that a good number of them are refugees from some personal holocaust.

  4. I’d have to say that this scenario (restricting the TLM to the SSPX, outlaw it everywhere else) is the most rational explanation to date for Francis’ overtures to the Society, esp. given his palpable (one might even say visceral) hatred of Tradition.

    On the likelihood of Card. Muller’s real thrust being not against the Society, but against Francis’ having SP in his cross hairs, I’m with Petrus. Perhaps, though, Muller’s loyalty to Pope Benedict is the real motivation, not necessarily his fidelity to SP.

    Meanwhile, as we know and have discussed countless times, the TLM can never be abrogated, even under Goebbels conditions (i.e. if you repeat a lie often enough it will become true). So good luck with your evil plan, Francis. May it turn against you and strike your Achilles heel…

      • Margaret,

        I can’t see what there is to disagree about – the TLM cannot be abrogated. Even if Pope Francis were to SAY it is abrogated, it wouldn’t BE so.

        Just wanted to clarify that – would take more time than I have at my disposal right now to say more, but that is the fact of the matter. They tried to “ban” it before (I have a letter to a reader from the then Archbishop Winning, RIP saying that the TLM was now prohibited) but that is not within any pope’s power to do.

        • Yes, I agree that the TLM can’t be abrogated. It doesn’t make sense that the Mass which was offered and attended by countless Latin saints should be abrogated while the NO which is less than a century old should be allowed.

          My mom and I only attend the NO for family functions (e.g. First Communion). Every time we attend the NO, Mom says she feels like she hasn’t been to church. That’s her sensus Fidei in action. And she doesn’t blog either. 😉

            • You’re cute. 😊 My mom is old enough to be your big sister.

              And Fr. B. wouldn’t excommunicate Mom for not blogging. In fact, he’s preached against being dominated by technology. You’d love him.

  5. Absolute nonsense! The idea of a second attempt at banning the one true mass is absurd.That fiction has truly been put to rest by Sumorum Pontificum. Pope Benedict, for what ever else he did certainly let that cat out of the bag! The credibility of the present (peoples) Pope is fragile enough and any attempt to restate the lie against the TLM would sink the barque he is sailing on.

    • Patrick,

      Whether Pope Benedict had “let that cat out of the bag or not” the TLM never was, never will be, CANNOT be banned. If most priests are too cowardly to offer it in the fact of episcopal opposition, that is one thing but it never has been, never will be and CANNOT be abrogated. That is the fa\ct of the matter.

      Doesn’t mean Pope Francis won’t try – let him try if he wishes, but he won’t succeed.

  6. The following news is from the Scottish Catholic Media Office. I think it fits on this thread well enough, since it reveals the latest craziness from novus ordo-land and should make us pray ever harder that the rumours are not true about Pope Francis’ plans to abolish Summorum Pontificum:

    Mercy Bus” redefines “Mass” transit.
    Thursday 27 July 2017

    A Scottish bishop will celebrate Mass on a double-decker bus, for the first time in the UK, in Paisley next week. The special bus will set off on its opening tour from the cenotaph at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Monday 31 July 2017.

    The bus tour is the brainchild of the ‘Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland’, speaking ahead of the launch, organiser Helen Border said:

    “Inspired by the call from Pope Francis to “Go out to the people and take the Church to them” we’ve decided to do just that, with a church on wheels, which between Monday July 31 to Saturday August 5 will be in a different town each day.”

    “There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and literature, tea and coffee available downstairs. Everyone is welcome, we hope passers-by will come on board, where they can say a prayer or just chat. Today, so many people are angry and upset, often because they’ve made the wrong choices and want to change. Stepping on board the bus, could be the first step in changing their lives for the better. We hope they’ll come aboard!”

    The bus will visit: Paisley, Coatbridge, Greenock, Barrhead and Glasgow over the week-long tour. It will return to Paisley on Saturday 5 August, where Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, will celebrate Mass on board the bus at 2pm.

    Commenting on the initiative, Bishop Keenan said:

    “This is a fantastic initiative and a wonderful example of evangelisation, which takes the church out into the world. I wish the venture every success and hope it will be the first of many similar initiatives which offer people a route back to a relationship with God.”

    The bus together with a driver, has been donated, for a week, by Sir Brian Souter. Commenting on the launch, Sir Brian said;

    “This is an innovative idea to bring faith issues to the high street and I hope people will find help and meaning through this initiative.” END.

    Could you – I mean COULD ANYONE – makes this stuff up?

    Gimme – and I do mean GIMME – strength!

      • Or, RCA Victor, since they’re always explaining away the decline in Church attendance etc. maybe this represents their new model (cough) of “Church”…

        The concept is Protestant, of course – typical of the evangelical way of doing things.

        Mind you, gives a whole new meaning to that part of Acts which refers to us living and moving and having our being [in God].

        One just has to laugh – doesn’t one?

    • Editor, we just have to hope that the Holy Ghost will send a message to those on board, in the words of the clippies of old, COME ON, GET AFF.

      • Vianney,

        That brought back memories! For the sake of our out-of-Scotland bloggers, we should explain that, way back in time, we had Bus Conductresses (“clippies”) on buses, who took the fares and monitored those coming on and leaving the bus.

        When there was a queue of people leaving the bus and another queue waiting to get on, the clippies would get impatient and hurry along those leaving. It would make folk laugh to hear them saying “C’mon, get aff” (literally “come on, get off”) so we didn’t know whether we were coming or going, so to speak!

        I hope that’s clear…Just doing my bit to spread Scottish culture 😀

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