Defending Summorum Pontificum

In the three years since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum that liberalize the traditional Mass now called the “extraordinary form,” the rise in interest in liturgical tradition has been marvelous to see.

The figures on the number of EF Masses now available are impressive given the short period of time, but the importance of Summorum goes far beyond this aspect alone. Full access to preconcilar liturgical forms represents an openness to a tradition that had been previously been shut out in a period upheaval that gave many the impression that Catholic liturgy had somehow been totally reinvented in the postconciliar period. This was arguably a main reason for Summorum: to re-integrate the new with the old and restore the sense of continuity that Pope Benedict XVI speaks about.

What is important today are the reports, increasingly credible, that a new instruction is forthcoming that will place new restrictions on the celebration of the traditional rite, particularly as regards ordination of priests. Enough reports have reached my own inbox to lead me to believe that something is underway. If there is anything that can be done to prevent any pullback from Summorum, it should be done.

This is why I would strongly suggest go to and sign the petition right now. There are already more than 500 signatures.

5 Replies to “Defending Summorum Pontificum”

  1. This petition is an excellent exercise of the canonical rights of the faithful: "According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, [the faitfhul] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons." Can. 212 §3

  2. Doesn't sound like a restriction, since SP expressly does not include Orders in the traditional rituals that have been liberated freely.

    And that's not surprising. One thing that Rome will jealously guard is oversight of Orders and anything that might set up a parallel apostolic succession whereby faithful are questioning the validity of Orders conferred by the postconciliar ritual. Thus, Rome will probably want to retain direct oversight of indults given in this matter. For someone to expect otherwise is to expect Rome not to behave in a Roman way on this point.

  3. What would be the cause of the restrictions? Are there problems in implementing SP?
    Not enough priests available to celebrate TLM?

    This is what the Pope said in 2008.

    "Pope would like Tridentine Mass in EACH parish, Vatican official says…

    He …. was in the process of writing to seminaries not only to equip seminarians to celebrate Mass in Latin but to understand the theology, the philosophy and the language of such Masses.

    The cardinal said parishes could use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday so they could "appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest."

  4. A petition against an instruction that doesn't exist! What a cunning plan!

    Seriously, I do want SP to be kept intact, but since the Church is not a democracy, a petition will have zero outcome.
    And after all, these are all but rumours.

    That said, I may sign, even for a no-op…

  5. Signed, joyfully and with prayers of Thanksgiving to God for the gift He has given us in this Holy Father. Thank you, Jeffrey, for making us aware of the petition.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

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