Friday, January 30, 2009

Fruits of Summorum Pontificum - Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown PA

By Brian Kopp

The following article was published today in the Altoona Mirror newspaper:

Re-establishing the Latin Mass

Catholics sense peace during rite celebrated with times of silence

By Kristy MacKaben
POSTED: January 30, 2009


After a hiatus of more than three decades, the extraordinary Mass, also known as the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite, is being offered again in the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese.

Queen of Peace Church in Patton is the only church in the diocese providing the all-Latin Mass since the mid-1960s.

After the Second Vatican Council, in the mid-1960s, the traditional Latin Mass only was permitted to be celebrated privately by priests.

But in July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI launched an initiative allowing the traditional Latin Mass to be offered publicly. Bishop Joseph V. Adamec gave permission to the Rev. Ananias Buccicone, O.S.B., to celebrate the extraordinary Mass at Queen of Peace Sunday afternoons.

''When the pope allowed it, many requests came to me from within and outside the parish. They said, 'if anybody is going to do it, it's going to be you,'" Buccicone said. ''I have a tendency to be more traditional in the way I celebrate Mass."

To offer the Mass, Buccicone is required to understand and speak Latin, as well as perform the precise hand movements.

Unlike the new or ordinary Mass, in the extraordinary Mass, priests face the altar, not the people. It appears as if the priest is turning his back to the congregation. But, Buccicone said, the purpose is for the priest to face God.

''The priest is facing liturgical east, facing towards God and he is acting as the mediator between God and man, therefore he leads the people into the sanctuary, then acts as the mediator," Buccicone said.

The extraordinary Mass is much different than the ordinary Mass in its silence and lack of response from the congregation.

There is no singing and the congregation does not respond to the priest vocally.

During Holy Communion, communicants must kneel at the rail and take Communion on their tongue.

No one is permitted to touch the host with their hands and the priest must not separate his thumb and forefinger when holding the host, to prevent any particle from falling. The communicant also does not say ''amen" after receiving the host.

Instead, the priest says ''May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto everlasting life. Amen."

About 175 people attend the extraordinary Mass Sundays; some come from Lock Haven or Somerset.

The solemn Mass, which is said completely in Latin, attracts different types of people. While older Catholics enjoy it because it is the Mass of their youth; younger people, including some with families, appreciate the silence and mystery of the Mass.

''It's a matter of personal taste. Some will come for nostalgia sake. They remember it as the Mass of their youth.

"Others appreciate it on a very deep level. Low Mass is almost completely silent. Most of the prayers are being prayed with priests facing God. There is a sense of mystery. There's a sense of awe," Buccicone said.

Teresa Bentivegna of Ebensburg attends the extraordinary Mass at Queen of Peace, although she is a member of Holy Name Catholic Church in Ebensburg. She attends church alone while her husband watches her two young children.

''It's kind of my time. It's just very peaceful," Bentivegna said. ''In the world we live in we're surrounded by noise. It's my time with God because it's so peaceful and it totally envelops you without having to make an effort whatsoever."

When Ray Seymour of Loretto heard Buccicone was thinking about offering the Mass, he was excited.

''I had been encouraging it for 15 or 20 years. It's just great that it became available," said Seymour who teaches Latin at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg. ''It's the Mass of my youth."

Because of his teaching background, Seymour understands the Latin Mass, but missals are provided to the congregation so people can follow it in English.

Seymour and Bentivegna enjoy the solemnity of the Mass, as well as the mystery.

''In the extraordinary form, I think the pressure is off the priest and the pressure is off the people. Sometimes I think we have the idea that the sacraments are something we do for God. In the extraordinary form, it's very evident that God does this for us," Seymour said.

Although Seymour and Bentivegna regularly attend Queen of Peace, they are not members of the church. The diocese does not want people to join Queen of Peace for the reason of the extraordinary Mass. Instead, Catholics are encouraged to join parishes in their communities.

Monsignor Michael Servinsky, vicar general for the diocese, said people should belong to churches in their territories so the priests can better help their members.

''That is in order for the pastor to know you and take care of you. The way the church is structured is you belong to the territory in which you live," Servinsky said.

Buccicone said another reason Catholics should not join Queen of Peace for the sole reason of extraordinary Mass is because he could be transferred at any time to a different parish or assigned back to the monastery.

''People could join here for the old rite and then it wouldn't be offered anymore," Buccicone said.

Anyone is welcome to attend the extraordinary Mass at 1 p.m. Sundays. On the first Sunday of the month, a high Mass is celebrated with choir singing and Gregorian chant. The other three Sundays, a low Mass is said, which is the more solemn Mass.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bishop Fellay Does The Right Thing!

By Patrick Archbold

In my post of a few days ago on Bishop Williamson's Holocaust denial in advance of the lifting of the excommunications, I expressed my fervent desire that Bishop Fellay would do something about Williamson lest he impugn all adherents to the Society or even all Traditional minded Catholics with his nonsensical rantings. I wrote:
In recognition of all the Pope has done and is trying to do and in the name of all the good people in the society and those who are aligned with it, the SSPX should immediately censure or even expel Richard Williamson. He is a very troubled man in need of our prayers, but he should not be a Bishop or in any leadership position.
I am so pleased to report that Bishop Fellay has done the right thing. He apologized to the Pope and perhaps even more importantly put a gag order on Bishop Williamson.
[NCR] Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X

We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

It’s clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on questions that regard faith and morals. Our Fraternity does not claim any authority on other matters. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, expressed in the dogmas of the faith. It’s for this reason that we are known, accepted and respected in the entire world.

It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.

We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.

This is something we cannot accept, and we declare that we will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to administer the sacraments of grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Menzingen, January 27, 2009
Amen! Amen! The fact that Bishop Fellay has publicly apologized, publicly repudiated the noxious opinions of Williamson, and implemented a long overdue gag order are the best signs yet that the SSPX and its leadership are serious about dialog and reconciliation. My hat is off to Bishop Fellay and my prayers are with you and the society.

Cross posted at CMR

Triumph and Tribulation

By Patrick Archbold

Christopher A. Ferrara, Remnant Columnist, has said everything I could or would say about the lifting of the excommunications. A wonderfully joyous and momentous day marred by the actions of one.

I consider it a must read for anyone interested in the SSPX.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here?

By Patrick Archbold

So now that the decree of latae sententiae excommunication has been lifted on the four Bishops of the SSPX, where do we go from here?

This is certainly not the end of the saga with the SSPX, but most assuredly just the beginning. Many question need to be answered before they are in full and visible communion with the Church.

Bishop Fellay, in response to the lifting of the ex-Communications, keys in on just this point.

Continue Readaing on CMR>>>>

It's Official!

By Patrick Archbold

Decree of the Congregation for Bishops

By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much."

His Holiness Benedict XVI - paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and trusting in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin - decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desired to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to vanquish the scandal of division.

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based on the faculty expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time.

Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

via Rorate Caeli

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bp. Fellay defends SSPX, distances it from Bp. Williamson

By Brian Kopp

Posted at the Remnant:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are there really any coincidences when it comes to SSPX intrigue?

By Brian Kopp

The recent controversial interview with SSPX Bishop Williamson was supposedly recorded on November 1, 2008.

The first rumor of the decree lifting the excommunications was posted on RorateCaeli on November 3, 2008, based on a Spanish language blog post dated November 2, 2008.

It is inconceivable that Bp. Williamson was not aware of the impending move on the part of Rome to lift the excommunications when he granted this interview.


By Patrick Archbold

Rorate is now reporting that January 24th may very well be the date on which the removal of ex-communication will be made public.

He also reports some details via French religious website Golias
Also according to our information, it would not be a full and complete recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, but a simple removal of the sanction of excommunication; a way to recognize the good faith and ecclesial sense of the "schismatics", while full agreement on the future juridical status of the Fraternity Saint Pius X is not yet complete. Some believe that the Fraternity of Saint Pius X could be erected as a personal prelature of the Pope, similar to that of the Opus Dei. However, those responsible for the latter view with some concern this prospect, which would remove [the exclusivity of] their exceptional status, which has been theirs since 1983, following the decision by Pope John Paul II.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desperate Williamson Denies Holocaust

By Patrick Archbold

Have you heard about the drama going on right now with the SSPX? Amazing. Rumor has it that Pope Benedict may have already lifted the decree of ex-Communication on the Bishops of the SSPX incurred after their illicit consecration in 1988. This action, following the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, is a major step toward bringing the SSPX back into the fold. There is one person who is apparently determined to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Richard Williamson, one of those on whom the ex-communication would be lifted, will do anything to stop it.

Continue Reading at CMR >>>>