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Debate: Should England’s seminaries teach the Extraordinary Form?

And what exactly constitutes a ‘pastoral need’?

By on Friday, 13 May 2011

Bishop Edward Slattery celebrates a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Washington (CNS photo)

Bishop Edward Slattery celebrates a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Washington (CNS photo)

The Vatican, in its long-awaited Instruction on Summorum Pontificum, says that seminaries should teach students the Extraordinary Form of the Mass “where pastoral needs suggest it”.

Here is the quotation in context:

Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.

Earlier this afternoon, though, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster told journalists that in England and Wales he, personally, did not think the Extraordinary Form “needs to be added to an already crowded seminary programme”. “It’s a skill that can be learned later in a priest’s life,” he said.

So, should England’s seminaries teach the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? And what, exactly, constitutes a “pastoral need”?

  • AgingPapist

    Adam, we need to get rid of the bishops and start to elect shepherds. We don’t need any more “Catholic” bishops.  

  • AgingPapist

    You’ve had forty years to “watch churches fill up” with latin liturgies of incomparable pomp and circumstance and it hasn’t  happened. Until the entire Church has been purified from the pope on down and the people in the pews have decided who their bishops and pastors will be, you won’t see the churches filling up.

  • AgingPapist

    I am aware of several English seminarians (all of them young) who, outside term time, opt to attend the usus antiquior. 
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————
    The numbers surely aren’t going to increase that much after this latest decree.

  • AgingPapist

    Almost all masses, extraordinary or otherwise, are said by homosexuals.  It takes a gay man to make a beautiful liturgy and a beautiful world.

    So get accustomed to it and get a life too.

  • AgingPapist

    Lee, Your thinking is an aberration.

  • AgingPapist

    It’s just a matter of time before Pope Benedict will have to declare the SSPX, the sedevacantists, and others who think like them, that they’re anathema and cast into the outer darkness. You can set you watch to it.

    His actions demonstrate a certain illuminationsweeping over him and resignation to the inevitable.  His latest decree on the liturgy is his farewell to these groups.  The dye is cast and isn’t returning to the one size fits all, stand alone archaic floor show of the 16th century, “the greatest thing this side of Heaven”??  lol lol.  Not a chance of it now.

  • AgingPapist

    I say this as one who has been through the system, played the game and
    kept my head down and worn the Che Guevara T-shirt and sideburns during
    seminary years, and am now learning to celebrate the Mass for a group in
    my parish who have been asking for it.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    I wouldn’t become over-confident. Obedience may be something you needed to learn in the seminary, but obviously didn’t.   Archbishop Nichols can always dispense with your services if he has to.

    A career as a chaplain to elderly novus ordo-loving nuns in Alice Springs immediately comes to mind.

  • AgingPapist

    Tessa, you should read between the lines of this latest decree and “Summorum Pontificum”.  There are so many loop holes in it’s provisions, you could ride a herd of kuala bears through them. Archbishop Nichols is on terra firma .  He’s right to work toward the beautification and standardization of a new .  A liturgy in the true lingua franca, english not latin.

  • AgingPapist

    Even if the extraordinary form doesn’t become the norm, it sets a standard for all to live up to.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    I agree. That is all it does.

     

  • AgingPapist

     “Benedict XVI is a great gentleman and a TRUE liberal”
    ——————————————————————————————-
    This is absurd. If he were a true liberal, these nonsensical decrees deliberately subverting Vatican II would never have been issued in the first place. European and British bishops warned him not to produce “Summorum Ponticum” and this latest “clarification”.  History will prove how right the bishops were.

    God bless archbishop Nichols and the other bishops determined to re-direct and render null and void Benedict’s blunders. Now, they need to form a conciliar alternative to the Vatican.  A world synod to function beyond the Vatican’s orbit and demand the pope’s resignation or removal.

    His Holiness might wish to visit the travel bucket shops in London.  Sardinia and St. Helena should be quite lovely this time of year.

  • AgingPapist

    Over the last 40 years the Church in this country has slowly died. When
    will these bishops wake up and smell the coffee???? 
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    The Church has died throughout the world because of the criminal conduct of the clergy. Not because they failed to learn latin or the extraordinary form of the mass. Abolish the seminaries altogether and start by
    electing the pastors and bishops who will ordain married men and women to replace these clowns.

  • AgingPapist

    Poor Ken Purdie. Still mesmerized by Alexander VI, Julius II, and Pius V and wishing to take us all back to their time. You may go and please stay there Ken.

  • AgingPapist

    When Benedict XVI has left the scene, his successor will put the extraordinary form on hold, place “Summorum Pontificum” on the shelf, sing it’s praises, and permit it to die a natural death buried in the musty and dusty Vatican archives.

  • AgingPapist

     Well, none of the policies followed over the past 40 years has worked
    very well, and it is clear that the Catholic Church WAS working before
    the Council.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    This is pure rubbish. You’ve just spent too much time in all the wrong places.  I’ve seen beautiful Pauline rite masses which would knock your socks off. Far better than anything ever celebrated in the vast majority of Roman rite Catholic churches anywhere. The extraordinary form is entertainment not liturgy. It is for those looking for a floor show, not worship.

  • http://RichGriese.NET Rich Griese

    I don’t really see much relevance to seminaries. Since the Enlightenment, supernaturalism has been replaced with reason. So… seminaries are, to use a horrible metaphor, a sinking ship. So, it is not really important what you do before the ship sinks, it’s better to realize action needs be taken, and get to it.

  • Annie

    And the Latin Mass does all these things beautifully, as well as being sublimely spiritual, linguistically appealling because it is special, and also traditional, so you have a marvellous continuity with your ancestors. 

  • Midland23

    Weighing in from the US-YES! The Latin mass that I attend is populated with all ages and more priests should be able to offer it.

  • Et Expecto

     Surely, most people would say that it has been 40 years since there has been good Latin liturgy in our churches.

  • Petrus

    I think the fact is that Summorum Pontificum has been buried by the Bishops.  The average person in the pew has no idea that it exists.  If the bishops sent out a pastoral letter, making the lay faithful aware that they can request the Traditional Mass, then I think you would find a lot more people would request it.   

  • Midland23

    I absolutely agree! We want both for balance and diversity. Surely our Church can do it all!

  • AgingPapist

    Nytor,   The novelty of the TLM or EF will be wear off. Give it time.  Like the circus, when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all of them.

  • AgingPapist

     I’ve seen the very best Latin liturgies celebrated in Novus Ordo parishes in the USA. They run rings around any EF liturgies I’ve seen, with very few exceptions.

  • AgingPapist

    Let us be clear here, the Council NEVER suppressed the Latin Mass.  Don’t forget the Heenan indult (or should we call it the Agatha Christie indult?) .  Traditionalists go on ad nauseum reminding us that Vatican II never intended to suppress the EF and, in fact, never did. This liturgy is alive and obviously well. Irrespective of the fact that the Council fathers intended to supplant it permanently with what turned out to be the Novus Ordo.

  • AgingPapist

    If people prefer the TLM, by all means attend it.  Just don’t force it down everyone’s throat as the one size liturgy for all.  Good Latin music, well sung by priest and choir, with provision for communion under both forms, additional scripture readings, a chanted Latin and English Roman canon (howecver, words of institution and the anamnesis permitted to be sung), without those stupid altar cards (cheat notes for dummies) could become the new standard for the Roman rite.  Those who want offertory processions, the hand shaking , and the prayers of the faithful, can always have them as options.

  • AgingPapist

    Gwynneth39, You speak rubbish. You’re an SSPX plant.  You never had to “search” for a tabernacle in any Catholic church. Genuflection is only one form of respect. Profound bows look better and are far older. 

    More nonsense, priests were fleeing the Church years and years before Vatican II. I know because I was around then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Purdie/1162381995 Ken Purdie

    You sound just like our Bishop. Petrus is correct. There was not a word about the wider provision for the EF in any newsletter, or from any pulpit in our Diocese, or any other I m sure.
     It would be great to be able to attend it, but at the moment its banned here.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Purdie/1162381995 Ken Purdie

    This is not The National ” Catholic Reporter” Aging person! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Purdie/1162381995 Ken Purdie

    You are a Calvinist plant I recon. Because you are surely not a Catholic. Even a burned out elderly one. 

  • margaretta

    So we should just subject ourselves to an ever-changing circus of the Novus Ordo? You mean the Mass should be different everywhere so that it’s entertaining? We should pick and choose the headlining priest because he’s the star? The Novus Ordo has aged like the AgingPapist and every human being: confused, flawed, not as pretty. The TLM is the Mass of all time. God bless the Holy Father who is rebuilding the Church brick by brick.

  • Margaretta

    Then you should celebrate it on your own initiative, Father. Being that it was the Roman Rite for at least 1,800 years and codified by Pope St. Pius V in Quo Primum, it can only benefit you and your flock. I discovered the TLM in 2003 and I came home. God bless your efforts. Ave Maria!

  • Nat_ons

    This is not the priest’s opposition, you do realise, I hope; even if his spirit is dismissive. The root is of a stronger antipathy to liturgical, theological and pastoral loyality toward Rome and its witness to Christ, in the ordinary and extra-ordinary forms of Rite. To shrink from pressing this forward is to shrug at one who prowls ready to devour, in all seriousness; for ‘pastoral’ need is not what your priestly minister says you should want or not want; it is, rather: all of us helping to fulfill the discipline of faith .. at one, as best we may, with the mind of the Sucessor to Peter. So see if there is another soul who would like the traditional rites available in your own parish, ask them to go with you to request this of your priest (to fit with the common Rite, in both Latin and the vernacular, with incense and chant not just the more frequent uses e.g. Pop, Folk, Beat or ‘OK-That’ll-Do-Here’ praise). If this request for a restored ‘continuity’ in liturgy is spurned, make it your business (and, of course, the priest’s) to present it humbly and without rancour to the generosity of the local ordinary; and if he also refuses, fear not one jot, lay it loyally and obediently before Rome (but be aware, no one says this way is easy, even if the divine promise is sure in blessing), Rom 16 : 20.

  • Nat_ons

    Twenty years ago (in Ireland and the UK) the use of Latin in the Ordinary Rite was not merely frowned on by parish clergy any formal request for it often required a hard wrung indult from the local ordinary (although there was no doctrinal reason for such obstruction). So in seeking (what is now recognised as) a fully legitimate Extra-ordinary Rite - outside the confines of the papally indulted use for England, via the Latin Mass Society - was at that time (and until quite recently) wholly unthinkable. Note well, all that is being presented above, is a restoration of what the Father’s of the Second Vatican Council actually had in mind .. a firm continuity of rites, not a fractured destruction of due obedience. Therefore, in point of fact, Father, it has always been your duty - as it remains still for you and your superiors - to see that steps are taken to ensure your congregation is able to participate with the responses and common prayers of the Mass in Latin, Greek and Hebrew (whether in the form of 1962, 1965 and its 1967 update, or the 1970 order).

    ‘Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.’ Sacrosanctam Concilium, 54. 

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

  • Nat_ons

    Not entirely true; the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council expressed no intention of ‘supplanting’ the older rite(s) – their reforms were primarily a more vigorous extension of the reforming spirit of Pius X and Pius XII (in making the living liturgies and devotions more fit for purpose among an increasingly literate people). The notion of fracture is all in the wilfully obdurate imagination of those who liked to assert that their ideas/ ideals/ ideologies were in ‘the spirit of Vat II’ (and those who blindly oppose them), when, in fact, they simply wanted their own opinions to prevail .. for an astonishing long time, the ‘spirit of’ brigades had their way. True, the New Order of Mass or Novus Ordo – although in some ways a rupture with the usus antiquior – was and is still a Latin (Greek and Hebrew) liturgy, translated free-style, roughly, or meticulously from the original into the local dominant languages. Until remarkably recently, it has been virtually impossible to access the New Order in any form other than a folksy vernacular (or often something far more damaging, a Do-It-Yourself style). Indeed, if one sets out the New Order of 1969 in comparison with the 1967 revision of the 1965 expression of the 1962 update of the 1956 order, there is – broadly speaking - a traceable contiguity (if not an actual continuity); rather, it is the woeful manner in which the New Order was and is usually implemented (as much as the shorn doctrines and impoverished expression of those that remain) that was and is still the core concern - for any who value the ‘Roman’ part of using a Roman Missal.

  • Nat_ons

    A little unkind, HM. It is certainly ‘revealing of the Archbishop’s modus operandi’, but look at where he started out from, and among whom he must shepherd still! Not exactly ravenous wolves, ossified blancmange perhaps. At least wolves merely tear the sheep apart, hardened mediocrity isn’t just a waste, it can become poisonous to the whole flock fed from it. The faithful have to work with what the Lord has seen fit to provide; that has always meant keeping the overseer to his watch .. all too often having to wake him from profound slumber. Reminding His Grace, the Archbishop, of ‘the Pope’s efforts to renew the life of the Church in our age’ is part of this communal effort. Humbly, with unstinting support, yet also with a firm insistance on loyalty (as more than a nod in Rome’s direction).

    The notion of generosity in provision for formation/ use/ availablity of the usus antiquior (and the use of Latin in the New Order) is lacking in the reaction of many bishops, in this there is no surprise. With this in mind, the concerned laity must ensure ‘generosity’ - as a genuine ‘pastoral need’ in itself - is fulfilled.

    First, require that the formation of their pastors is indeed orthodox. Second, hold the formation providers fully to account (particularly in forming these pastors in the Latin Rites; not as Latinists but as at least capable of using, understanding and instructing in the Church’s use of liturgical Latin/ Greek/ Hebrew). Third, in leaving their overseeing pastors with no doubt that fidelity to Rome, Rome’s witness, and all the Roman uses are not to be viewed as additional extras (to be picked up ‘on the job’ so to speak), but the fundamental building blocks for an apostolic church in any and all the Latin Rites (just as these are viewed in other apostolic orders and Rites) .. even that formation now under the care of Archbishop Nicholls, et al.

  • Nat_ons

    It is not a matter of liking or disliking – as if it were a choice between going to hear a Baptist preacher or a Methodist. The rites of the Divine Liturgy, ancient and new, are one and the same service – to reject one or the other is to deny both (with equal peril). No one, so far as I am aware, seeks to force every or any soul into a Pontifical High Mass; a Low Mass and the New Order of Mass (sung or unsung) are every bit as valid – if one cherishes the ‘Roman’ part of using a Roman Missal.

    What is at stake is the very nature of discipleship; the discipline of life in the church catholic as an orthodox expression of the one body with one Spirit.  

    The older rites have far fewer opportunities for abuse of the liturgy, indeed none where followed as set out; they also present more distinctly the Roman understanding of the doctrines of Christian sacrifice, man’s dependence on God, and a personal responsibility for sin than in the New Order (at least the recent revision will correct some of this appalling lack .. if it is followed; past experience does not bode well on that score).

  • Anonymous

    I’ve just had a read of the comments which help explain, I think, why the Church is in such a mess. I’ve not seen one mention of Jesus Christ; rather it’s all the Institutional Church. All this argument about the Novos Ordo versus the Extraordinary Form and not a word about Our Lord. It’s time the Church started to preach the gospel instead of the institutional church.
    The EF is not ‘The Mass of all Ages’. That’s a misleading claim. The EF of the Mass itself evolved and was constantly renewed in the earliest Church. The disciples when they met for the early Eucharist certainly did not do so in a manner that we would recognise as the EF. It clearly evolved to meet the need of the faithful and is still doing so.
    Now, having said all that, I see no good reason to withould the celebration of the EF. But I would suggest that we would be better served working to impliment proper reverential celebration of the NO with proper reverence of the Eucharist. In my parish there is NO talking before Mass. The Altar rails have been replaced. Proper respect is given to Our Lord in the reserved sacrament. And the priest follows TO THE LETTER the rubrics of the celebration. It is reverential and beautiful.
    Ken Purdie, I would be interested in what diocese you live. Are we to force priests to celebrate the EF? None of my priest friends have ever expressed a wish to do so, primarily because they see it as devisive. Have any of yours Ken?
    A visit to this blog suggests to me they might be right after all!

  • ecc-uk

     I’d have thought love was the highest expression of our holy faith.  Surely life is the heart of our faith

  • Anonymous

    And what if the priests have no desire to offer it??

  • Father John Boyle

     We are not called to do what we desire or avoid that which we do not desire but to be servants of the people of God, and of God Himself.

  • JH

    I agree,there are so many loopholes and caveats in Summorum Pontificum that recalcitrant bishops can simply get away with obstruction and carry on as they think fit. However,that said ,they should beware because the Pope said that we may have a smaller church in the short term and he has already fired at least two bishops for incompetence and outright disobedience. The English and Scottish crowd could well be next! In the end though the church will win through. I bet within forty or so years those of us still around  will look back and wonder why all the fuss.Remember Christ said  “though art Peter….” and he wasn’t talking in terms of a chinese parliament with all that collegiate tripe The Pope is the boss and all the rest of the crowd better recognize that or expect their P45 in the post. Pray that God keeps Benedict XVI aroun for another twenty years or so because by god we need him. On a happier note maybe the Queen will send him the telegram when he makes the century. Vive il papa !!!

  • JH

    better still write to Rome and petition for his removal for defiance!

  • JH

    do you mean he lied?

  • JH

    Canon law requires priests the be schooled in latin,(I think it is Canon 429) so if they can’t do it then it’s the hierarchy’s fault!

  • JH

    Sorry it is canon 249. I would have thought Archbishop Nicholls  would be aware of that.

  • JH

    Yes he is. He is giving that mob enough rope etc. 

  • Long Mary67

    When I was at school in the fifties I was taught that because the Mass was in Latin, it would be familiar to me wherever I travelled. I never thought I would travel far but times have changed, and now I struggle to follow Mass in German,French, Dutch etc. A case for the return of the Latin Mass?
    I’m disappointed that the ‘Sign of Peace’ has not been removed in the New Translation or at least put earlier in the Mass. It is disruptive and not conducive to devotion or reverence!

  • Jamesmaherne

    would some kind person tell me when was the national catholic church formed in the u.k?
    there seems to be one,as our”catholic” bishops appeare to reject everything that comes out of Rome!
    His Holiness comes to the U.K they smile to His face and sneer behind His back! what did the catholics of the U.K. ever do to deserve such a spiritually bankcrupt bunch.Pastoral need yes indeed for true Roman Catholic Bishops!You have presided over closed Seminaries, closed colleges,empty churches,renewal dressed up to hide decay!traditional orders are lighthouses of hope shining out from the blanket of faithlessness covering this poor
    country.
    time to start praying for a spiritual earthquake!
    Our Lady of Good Success come to our aid.

  • Possum

    You pessimist, you!

  • Ratbag

    Oh, aye?

  • Anonymous

    And Father, does that apply to those priest who do not celebrate the NO?? Those priests of the SSPX for example??