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Cardinal Burke laments resistance to Summorum Pontificum

July 09, 2012

Five years after Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum, his motu proprio permitting priests to offer the extraordinary form of the Mass without first having to obtain permission from their bishops, Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented “resistance to what the Holy Father has asked.”

“There's no question that there remains in certain places a resistance to what the Holy Father has asked, and that's sad," said the prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura. “It's sometimes even an expression of disagreement with the Holy Father's discipline and even an expression that this is harmful for the Church.”

“There was a stripping away, a changing of the form of the rite that in my judgment was too much,” he added as he commented on the liturgical changes that followed the Second Vatican Council. “You can't take a living reality, the worship of God as God has desired that we worship him, and tamper with it without doing violence and without in some way damaging the faith life of the people.”

In his letter to bishops accompanying the motu proprio, Pope Benedict wrote that “the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”

Cardinal Burke said that he hoped the ordinary form of the Mass would eventually be enriched through the increased use of Latin and the restoration of prayers at the foot of the altar and the Last Gospel (Jn. 1:1-14).

“On the other hand, Cardinal Burke says, the practice of reading scriptural passages in modern languages has been a ‘tremendous gift’ of the post-Vatican II liturgy that should be incorporated in the Tridentine Mass,” Catholic News Service reported. “And he says that the newer version of the Mass, in which the priest typically faces the congregation, can encourage a deeper appreciation of the ‘transparent devotion’ with which priests should celebrate both forms of the liturgy.”


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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: demark8616 - Jul. 28, 2012 3:56 AM ET USA

    There is a lot of information to be found at regarding any help needed by parishioners or priests. Well worth looking into what is offered.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2012 9:57 PM ET USA

    What recourse does a parish have where the pastor does not have the total support from his Bishop for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as requested by his parishioners?

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jul. 09, 2012 9:46 PM ET USA

    "...without doing violence..." Very nicely put. Cardinal Burke touches on a principle of continuity that under Pope Paul VI was essentially abandoned. No matter the need for reform, the good intentions, the pastoral concerns etc., what accompanied the Novus Ordo was a revolution. This involved a sudden (in a few years) and certain violence to the standard liturgy unprecedented within the Church, but perhaps historically reminiscent of the Protestant liturgical innovations centuries prior.