Summorum Pontificum - The Motu Proprio's Out!
Here, I will reproduce in full, the Letter of the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, regarding the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum:
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007 reinstates the Tridentine Mass in its right. In the text it is clearly acknowledged that it had never been abrogated. Thus fidelity to this Mass - for the sake of which many priests and lay people have been persecuted or even penalized for almost forty years - this fidelity never was a disobedience. Today it is merely a matter of justice to thank Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for having maintained us in this fidelity to the Mass of all times in the name of true obedience, and against all the abuses of power. There is also no doubt that this recognition of the right of the traditional Mass is the fruit of the very many rosaries addressed to Our Lady during our Rosary Crusade last October; we must now know how to tell her our gratitude.
Beyond the re-establishment of the Mass of Saint Pius V in its legitimate right, it is important to study the concrete measures issued by the Motu Proprio and the justification given by Benedict XVI in the letter accompanying the text:
- By right, the practical dispositions taken by the pope must enable the traditional liturgy - not only the Mass, but also the sacraments - to be celebrated normally. This is an immense spiritual benefit for the whole Church, for the priests and faithful who were up to now paralyzed by the unjust authority of the bishops. However, in the coming months it will be good to observe how these measures are applied in fact by the bishops and parish priests. For this reason, we will continue to pray for the pope so that he may remain steadfast after the courageous act he has done.
- The letter accompanying the Motu Proprio gives the pope's reasons. The affirmation of the existence of one single rite under two forms - the ordinary and the extraordinary forms -, of equal rights and especially the rejection of the exclusive celebration of the traditional liturgy, may, it is true, be interpreted as the expression of a political desire not to confront the Bishops' Conferences which are openly opposed to any liberalization of the Tridentine Mass. But we may also see in this an expression of the "reform of the reform" desired by the pope himself, and in which, as he himself writes in this letter, the Mass of Saint Pius V and of Paul VI would fecundate each other.
In any case, there is with Benedict XVI the clear desire to re-affirm the continuity of Vatican II and the Mass issued from it, with the bimillenary Tradition. This denial of a rupture caused by the last council - already made manifest in his address to the Curia on December 22, 2005 - shows that what is at stake in the debate between Rome and the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X is essentially doctrinal. For this reason, the undeniable step forward made by the Motu Proprio in the liturgical domain must be followed - after the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication - by theological discussions.
The reference to Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of Saint Pius X made in the accompanying letter, as well as the acknowledgment of the testimony given by the young generations which take up the torch of Tradition, clearly point out that our constancy to defend the lex orandi has been taken into account. With God's help, we must continue the combat for the lex credendi, the combat for the faith, with the same firmness.
Menzingen, July 7, 2007
+ Bernard Fellay
And, here's the link to a very good book, for those who are interested to know more about Archbishop Lefebvre and the history behind this fight for the Faith, which is still now ongoing, this spiritual warfare, which will only end, I firmly believe, with the triumph of HER IMMACULATE HEART. Dearest Mother Mary! as She promised at Fatima. :)
Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican by Fr. François Laisney; now to May 30, 1988.
Deo gratias et Mariae!
Sancte Pie Decime, gloriosi patrone, Ora, ora pro nobis! (ter)
Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!
Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)