Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Priestly Training for the Universal Indult

In this article by Brian Mershon is repeated a "concern" I'm hearing more frequently. On the subject of the Universal Indult which some very optimistic traditionalists believe is inevitable, a fear is expressed that once the Mass is "freed" hordes of priests will be rashly, charging about, saying Tridentine Masses without the proper training and instruction.


No priest who desires the supreme liturgical expression of the Old Mass will do that. I don't believe anyway. I think what we have is a desire on the part of Indult orders to become the new gatekeepers in exchange for their elder brother role they have cast themselves in according to the Prodigal son parable.

No Seminary Formation:

"I would not raise my hopes too high when it comes to seminary formation, at least not in the near future," said Fr. Thomas Kocik. "After all, few are the seminaries that train men to celebrate the Mass of Paul VI in a traditional manner, such as in Latin, with Gregorian chant, priest and people facing the same direction," he said. "So can we really expect widely available training for the traditional rite, even if its use is unconditionally approved?"

"A Guided Freedom"

Fr. George Gabet, North American district superior for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), expressed his concerns regarding a freeing of the Classical Roman rite for all priests in a recent interview with The Wanderer. He reiterated the same messages given about this question by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and Bishop Alvaro Corrada, SJ, of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Both bishops said that while they were open to any and all of their diocesan priests offering the Traditional rite, they ensured the priests knew Latin well enough, and had some training in the rubrics of the Mass prior to allowing them final permission to offer it. This might be classified as a "guided freedom."


Fr. Joseph Santos, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Providence, R.I., offers the Novus Ordo and the Classical Roman liturgy every Sunday. "One thing that must be underlined is the competency of priests to celebrate the old rite in Latin," Fr. Santos said.

"Many have no knowledge of the language; good intentions are not enough," he said. "A general indult could make things worse, not better, with a multitude of well-intentioned, but inept celebrations."

Fr. Robert Fromageot, a priest with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), who offers the Classical Roman Mass and sacraments exclusively, is studying at the Angelicum in Rome. He agrees entirely with Fr. Santos' cautions.

"The concern is a just concern," Fr. Fromageot said. "The Classical Roman rite has not been available everywhere for a long time, so when you just have it freed, it just doesn't begin again as if it were here just yesterday."

Fr. Fromageot affirmed that it would be a matter of justice for a document to come from the Holy See to reaffirm the legitimacy of the Classical Roman rite. "In a way, these restrictions that we have had, while they may be seen as unjust, and on some level they are unjust, nevertheless, they do provide a certain quality control to the growth of this Classical Roman rite that has occurred since 1988."

Who will be the Guides to Freedom?

In other words, Fr. Fromageot is suggesting that for those diocesan priests who are interested in offering the Classical Roman rite, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King may organize workshops and opportunities to train priests in the rubrics of the Traditional rite.


And in a final vote of confidence:

And offering concerns similar to those of Fr. Santos, Fr. Fromageot added, "I mean, God help us if priests learn how to use this rite and do a sloppy job of it."

The only complaints I hear about Latin Masses that are not said reverently and appropriately are directed at priests who are thrust into the role of saying the Latin Mass unwillingly by their Bishops who are satisfying the letter if not the spirit of the Ecclesia Dei directives. It is well known among Indult circles that the priests who are traditionally minded and desire to say the Latin Mass are forbidden it and the priests who are antithetical to tradition are assigned the indult.

The tone of these comments is so hopelessly condescending and insulting to the priests who have been longing for permission to say the Mass it would be a wonder, or at least an acute act of humility for a priest to now approach one of these priests or one of these orders to request training in saying the Latin Mass.

Besides the fact that we still don't have the universal indult and may never have and if this isn't borrowing trouble I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They complain as if in the old days when priests were trained to say the Tridentine mass, they did so in a competent fashion. That simply is not true. Nor is it true that priests celebrate the novus ordo with any greater competence. Face it! Many priests see themselfves as social workers. Public Divne worship is the least of their concerns.