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Volume 7, Issue 33

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14, 2007
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      Roman Catholic News

      Volume 7, Issue 33

      TUESDAY 10 JULY 2007

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church." It is dated June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, and bears the signatures of Cardinal William Joseph Levada and Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation.

      The document has been published in Latin, Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. The complete English-language version is given below:


      "The Second Vatican Council, with its Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' and its Decrees on ecumenism ('Unitatis redintegratio') and the Oriental Churches ('Orientalium Ecclesiarum'), has contributed in a decisive way to the renewal of Catholic ecclesiology. The Supreme Pontiffs have also contributed to this renewal by offering their own insights and orientations for praxis: Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter 'Ecclesiam suam' (1964) and John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter 'Ut unum sint' (1995).

      "The consequent duty of theologians to expound with greater clarity the diverse aspects of ecclesiology has resulted in a flowering of writing in this field. In fact it has become evident that this theme is a most fruitful one which, however, has also at times required clarification by way of precise definition and correction, for instance in the declaration 'Mysterium Ecclesiae' (1973), the Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church 'Communionis notio' (1992), and the declaration 'Dominus Iesus' (2000), all published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

      "The vastness of the subject matter and the novelty of many of the themes involved continue to provoke theological reflection. Among the many new contributions to the field, some are not immune from erroneous interpretation which in turn give rise to confusion and doubt. A number of these interpretations have been referred to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given the universality of Catholic doctrine on the Church, the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the Magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate.

      "Responses to the Questions

      "First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

      "Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

      "This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council. Paul VI affirmed it and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: 'There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation.' The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention.

      "Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

      "Response: Christ 'established here on earth' only one Church and instituted it as a 'visible and spiritual community', that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. 'This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. ... This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him'.

      "In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' 'subsistence' means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

      "It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word 'subsists' can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the 'one' Church); and this 'one' Church subsists in the Catholic Church.

      "Third Question: Why was the expression 'subsists in' adopted instead of the simple word 'is'?

      "Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are 'numerous elements of sanctification and of truth' which are found outside her structure, but which 'as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity.'

      "'It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.'

      "Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term 'Church' in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

      "Response: The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. 'Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all - because of the apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds,' they merit the title of 'particular or local Churches,' and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches.

      'It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature.' However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.

      "On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realized in history.

      "Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of 'Church' with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

      "Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called 'Churches' in the proper sense.

      "The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ratified and confirmed these Responses, adopted in the Plenary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication."

      The Responses are accompanied by a commentary which explains: "In this document the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is responding to a number of questions concerning the overall vision of the Church which emerged from the dogmatic and ecumenical teachings of the Second Vatican Council. ... The Council 'of the Church on the Church'."

      "This new document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which essentially summarizes the teaching of the Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium, constitutes a clear reaffirmation of Catholic doctrine on the Church. Apart from dealing with certain unacceptable ideas which have unfortunately spread around the Catholic world, it offers valuable indications for the future of ecumenical dialogue. This dialogue remains one of the priorities of the Catholic Church. ... However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith."

      "Catholic ecumenism might seem, at first sight, somewhat paradoxical. The Second Vatican Council II used the phrase 'subsistit in' in order to try to harmonize two doctrinal affirmations: on the one hand, that despite all the divisions between Christians the Church of Christ continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand that numerous elements of sanctification and truth do exist outwith the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church whether in the particular Churches or in the ecclesial Communities that are not fully in communion with the Catholic Church."

      "Although the Catholic Church has the fullness of the means of salvation, 'nevertheless, the divisions among Christians prevent the Church from effecting the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her children who, though joined to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her.' The fullness of the Catholic Church, therefore, already exists, but still has to grow in the brethren who are not yet in full communion with it and also in its own members who are sinners."

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Letter to Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, primate of Hungary and president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), for celebrations marking the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia.

      In the Letter, dated May 27, the Pope indicates that St. Elizabeth "knew how to combine the gifts of consummate wife and mother with the practice of evangelical virtues learnt at the school of St. Francis of Assisi."

      St. Elizabeth, he continues, "provided a solid, visible and significant witness of Christ's charity. Countless people over the course of the centuries have followed her example, looking to her as a model of exemplary Christian virtues, radically applied in marriage, the family and even in widowhood. She has also inspired political figures, who have drawn from her the motivation to work towards reconciliation between peoples."

      Benedict XVI expresses the hope that "profound knowledge of the personality and work of Elizabeth of Thuringia may be a help in rediscovering, with ever greater awareness, the Christian roots of Hungary and of Europe itself, encouraging leaders to develop harmonious and respectful dialogue between the Church and civil society in order to build a truly free and united world."

      In closing his Letter, the Pope calls for the "international year" dedicated to the saint, which began in Rome on November 17 2006, "to be an occasion for Hungarians, Germans, and all Europeans ... to emphasize the Christian heritage they received from their forefathers, so as to continue to draw from those roots the energy necessary to achieve an abundant harvest in the new millennium that has just begun."

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

      - Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

      - Dagmar Babcanova, ambassador of Slovakia, on her farewell visit.

      - Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State.

      - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

      VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

      - Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

      - Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

      VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - Nine prelates from the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, on their "ad limina" visit:

      - Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Amancio Escapa Aparicio O.C.D., and Pablo Cedano Cedano, and by former Auxiliary Bishop Francisco Jose Arnaiz Zarandona S.J.

      - Bishop Rafael Leonidas Felipe y Nunez of Barahona, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Fabio Mamerto Rivas Santos.

      - Bishop Gregorio Nicanor Pena Rodriguez of Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia en Higuey.

      - Bishop Jose Dolores Grullon Estrella of San Juan de la Maguana.

      - Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta of San Pedro de Macoris.

      This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus with the pilgrims gathered below.

      The Pope commented on the Gospel of Luke's account of how Jesus sent out 72 disciples to every town and place He intended to visit, so as to prepare the way for Him. The Evangelist, said the Pope, "highlights how the mission is not reserved for the twelve Apostles but also extends to other disciples. ... There is work for everyone in the vineyard of the Lord.

      "But Christ," the Holy Father added, "does not limit Himself to sending them out, He also gives the missionaries clear and precise rules of behavior. ... He sends them 'in pairs,' that they may help one another and provide a testimony of fraternal love. He warns them that they will be 'like lambs in the midst of wolves,' in other words they will have to be peaceful in the face of everything and bring a message of peace in all situations. They cannot carry clothing or money, but must live from what Providence provides. They must cure the sick as a sign of God's mercy. Where they are rejected they must leave, limiting themselves to warning people about the responsibility of refusing the Kingdom of God."

      "May this Gospel awaken in all the baptized an awareness of being missionaries of Christ, called to prepare the way for Him with words and with the witness of their lives!"

      The Holy Father then mentioned his forthcoming holiday in Lorenzago di Cadore which is due to begin tomorrow. He will, he said, "be guest of the bishop of Treviso in the same house that previously accommodated the venerated John Paul II.

      "The mountain air will do me good and I will be able to dedicate myself more freely to reflection and prayer," he added. "My hope is that everyone - and especially those who need it most - may take a holiday to restore their physical and spiritual energies and rediscover a healthful contact with nature. Mountains, in particular, evoke the ascent of the spirit to the heights, elevation towards the 'high level' of our humanity which, unfortunately, daily life tends to diminish."

      Finally, the Pope mentioned the fifth pilgrimage of young people to the cross of Mount Adamello, twice visited by John Paul II, and he invited all Italian youth to a meeting to be held in Loreto, Italy on September 1 and 2.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2007 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. today, the Holy Father departed from Rome's Ciampino airport whence an hour-long flight took him to the airport of Treviso-Istrana. From there he travelled by helicopter to Lorenzago, arriving at 12.30.

      Benedict XVI will spend 18 days in the northern Italian alpine resort. On his return, on 27 July, he will go to his summer residence of Castelgandolfo where he will remain until the end of September.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

      - Appointed Fr. Domingo Oropesa Lorente of the clergy of the archdiocese of Toledo, Spain, pastor of the parish of "Nuestra Senora del Carmen" in Florida, Cuba, as bishop of Cienfuegos (area 5,360, population 485,000, Catholics 293,600, priests 23, permanent deacons 1, religious 37), Cuba. The bishop-elect was born in Alcazar de San Juan, Spain in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1984.

      - Appointed Fr. Alvaro Julio Beyra Luarca of the clergy of the archdiocese of Camaguey, Cuba, pastor of the parish of "Nuestra Senora de la Caridad" in Nuevitas, as bishop of Santisimo Salvador de Bayamo y Manzanillo (area 8,362, population 829,000, Catholics 222,000, priests 13, religious 18), Cuba. The bishop-elect was born in Camaguey in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1994.

      On Sunday, July 8, it was made public that he appointed Msgr. Vitus Huonder, vicar general for "Grisons" in the diocese of Chur, Switzerland, as bishop of the same diocese (area 12,272, population 1,655,708, Catholics 686,446, priests 661, permanent deacons 36, religious 1,360). The bishop-elect was born in Trun, Switzerland in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1971.

      On Saturday, July 7, it was made public that he:

      - Appointed Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the closure of the "European Citizens' Missions," which are due to take place in Budapest, Hungary from September 16 to 22.

      - Appointed Bishop Domenico Calacagno of Savona-Noli, Italy, as secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Tramontana di Parodi Ligure, Italy, in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1967 and consecrated a bishop in 2002.

      - Elevated Bishop Carlo Liberati, prelate of Pompei, Italy, and pontifical delegate for the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary, to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Matelica, Italy, in 1937, he was ordained a priest in 1962 and consecrated a bishop in 2004.

      By order of the Holy Father, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," has appointed Msgr. Mario Marini as adjunct secretary of the same pontifical commission.

      VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Antonio Jose da Rocha Couto S.M.P., superior general of the Portuguese Society for Missions, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Braga (area 2,832, population 952,000, Catholics 875,000, priests 542, permanent deacons 8, religious 769), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Vila Boa do Bispo, Portugal in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1980.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received in private audience Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:


      - Blessed Gaetano Errico, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1791-1860).

      - Blessed Maria Bernarda Butler (nee Verena), Swiss foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (1848-1924).

      - Servant of God Maria Rosa Flesch (ne Margherita), German foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Mary of the Angels (1826-1906).

      - Servant of God Servant of God Candelaria de San Jose (nee Susana Paz Castillo Ramirez), Venezuelan religious and foundress of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of the Third Regular Order of Venezuela (1863-1940).

      - Servant of God Marta Maria Wiecka, Polish professed sister of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (1874-1904).

      - Servant of God Giuseppina Nicoli, Italian sister of the Society of the Daughters of Charity (1863-1924).

      - Servant of God Ceferino Namuncura, Argentinean layman, student of the Soceity of St. Francis of Sales (1886-1905).


      - Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and lay companions, killed in hatred of the faith at Otranto, Italy on August 13, 1480.


      - Servant of God Marco Antonio Barbarigo, Italian cardinal of Holy Roman Church and bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto (1640-1706).

      - Servant of God Luca Prassi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of Sisters of St. Dorothy (1789-1866).

      - Servant of God Ignacia of the Holy Spirit, Filipino foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1663-1748).

      - Servant of God Maria Leopoldina Naudet, Italian foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Verona (1773-1834).

      - Servant of God Santina di Gesu Scribano (nee Emaneula Giovanna), Italian professed religious of the Institute of Sisters of the Sacred Heart (1917-1968).

      - Servant of God Emilia Schneider (nee Julia) German professed sister of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Cross (1820-1859).

      - Servant of God Jerome Le Royer de la Dauversiere, French layman and founder of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Joseph of La Fleche, now the Hospitaller Sisters of St. Joseph (1597-1659).

      - Servant of God Hildegard Burjan, German laywoman and foundress of the Sisters of Social Charity (1883-1933).

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2007 (VIS) - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2006 that the year closed with a surplus of 2.4 million euro. This, he said, "represents a lower value following the results of 2005 (9.7 million euro) and of 2004 (3.08 million euro)."

      In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that this sector closed the year with a deficit of 31 million euro, a decrease with respect to 2005 which had closed with a deficit of 36.9 million euro.

      Cardinal Sebastiani pointed out that the sector of financial activities (seven consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 13.7 million euro, as compared with last year's surplus of 43.4 million euro. This decrease of about 29 million euro, the cardinal explained, "is due above all to a sudden very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US dollar."

      The real estate sector, he continued, "closed with a net gain of 32.3 million euro, higher than that of 2005 which stood at roughly 22.4 million. ... Total costs amounted to about 27 million euro, whereas revenues reached 59.3 million euro."

      The activity of the five media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Center), closed with a deficit of 12.8 million euro, "substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.8 million euro) and of L'Osservatore Romano (4.4 million euro)," said Cardinal Sebastiani. Nonetheless, the Vatican Printing Office and the Vatican Television Center closed the year with a surplus of 1.3 million euro and 421,000 euro respectively. The Vatican Publishing House also closed its 2006 financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro, and in this context the cardinal recalled how it has been entrusted with the exercise and the guardianship of the copyright of "all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises his teaching."

      The final part of the economic report, concerning other income and expenditure, closed with a positive result of 184,000 euro, as against the seven million euro deficit of 2005 which had reflected the costs incurred during the period of vacant see in April 2005.

      In closing, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See indicated that in the Vatican on July 2, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. had presided at the 41st meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On that occasion, said Cardinal Sebastiani, as well as the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See for 2006, the cardinals also examined that of the Governorate of Vatican City State, which closed with a surplus of 21.8 million euro, down on the 29.6 million euro of 2005.

      Offers from the faithful to Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, grew considerably with respect to the preceding year, coming to 74.6 million euro in 2006, as against the 2005 total of 46.7 million.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - Given below is a non-official English- language translation of the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" of Pope Benedict XVI, "Summorum Pontificum," concerning the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The original text is written in Latin.

      "Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church.'

      "Since time immemorial it has been necessary - as it is also for the future - to maintain the principle according to which 'each particular Church must concur with the universal Church, not only as regards the doctrine of the faith and the sacramental signs, but also as regards the usages universally accepted by uninterrupted apostolic tradition, which must be observed not only to avoid errors but also to transmit the integrity of the faith, because the Church's law of prayer corresponds to her law of faith.' (1)

      "Among the pontiffs who showed that requisite concern, particularly outstanding is the name of St. Gregory the Great, who made every effort to ensure that the new peoples of Europe received both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture that had been accumulated by the Romans in preceding centuries. He commanded that the form of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in Rome (concerning both the Sacrifice of Mass and the Divine Office) be conserved. He took great concern to ensure the dissemination of monks and nuns who, following the Rule of St. Benedict, together with the announcement of the Gospel illustrated with their lives the wise provision of their Rule that 'nothing should be placed before the work of God.' In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman use, enriched not only the faith and piety but also the culture of many peoples. It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.

      "Many other Roman pontiffs, in the course of the centuries, showed particular solicitude in ensuring that the sacred liturgy accomplished this task more effectively. Outstanding among them is St. Pius V who, sustained by great pastoral zeal and following the exhortations of the Council of Trent, renewed the entire liturgy of the Church, oversaw the publication of liturgical books amended and 'renewed in accordance with the norms of the Fathers,' and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

      "One of the liturgical books of the Roman rite is the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and, with the passing of the centuries, little by little took forms very similar to that it has had in recent times.

      "'It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified. From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.' (2) Thus our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, St. Pius X (3), Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII all played a part.

      "In more recent times, Vatican Council II expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. Moved by this desire our predecessor, the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, approved, in 1970, reformed and partly renewed liturgical books for the Latin Church. These, translated into the various languages of the world, were willingly accepted by bishops, priests and faithful. John Paul II amended the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. Thus Roman pontiffs have operated to ensure that 'this kind of liturgical edifice ... should again appear resplendent for its dignity and harmony.' (4)

      "But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms. These had so deeply marked their culture and their spirit that in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult 'Quattuor abhinc anno," issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given as Motu Proprio, 'Ecclesia Dei,' exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired.

      "Following the insistent prayers of these faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and after having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006, having reflected deeply upon all aspects of the question, invoked the Holy Spirit and trusting in the help of God, with these Apostolic Letters we establish the following:

      "Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.

      "It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents 'Quattuor abhinc annis' and 'Ecclesia Dei,' are substituted as follows:

      "Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.

      "Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.

      "Art. 4. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.

      "Art. 5. õ 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. õ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held. õ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages. õ 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded. õ 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission.

      Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.

      "Art. 7. If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 õ 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".

      "Art. 8. A bishop who, desirous of satisfying such requests, but who for various reasons is unable to do so, may refer the problem to the Commission "Ecclesia Dei" to obtain counsel and assistance.

      "Art. 9. õ 1 The pastor, having attentively examined all aspects, may also grant permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Ordinaries are given the right to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation using the earlier Roman Pontifical, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Clerics ordained "in sacris constitutis" may use the Roman Breviary promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962.

      "Art. 10. The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with can. 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law.

      "Art. 11. The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", erected by John Paul II in 1988 (5), continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it.

      "Art. 12. This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions.

      "We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as "established and decreed", and to be observed from 14 September of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, whatever there may be to the contrary.

      " From Rome, at St. Peter's, 7 July 2007, third year of Our Pontificate." (1) General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd ed., 2002, no. 397. (2) John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," 4 December 1988, 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.

      (3) Ibid. (4) St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter Motu propio data, "Abhinc duos annos," 23 October 1913: AAS 5 (1913), 449-450; cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," no. 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899. (5) Cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Motu proprio data "Ecclesia Dei," 2 July 1988, 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the English- language version of Benedict XVI's Letter to all the bishops of the world concerning his Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum," which was published today:

      "With great trust and hope, I am consigning to you as pastors the text of a new Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio data' on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The document is the fruit of much reflection, numerous consultations and prayer.

      "News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion. There have been very divergent reactions ranging from joyful acceptance to harsh opposition, about a plan whose contents were in reality unknown.

      "This document was most directly opposed on account of two fears, which I would like to address somewhat more closely in this letter.

      "In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions - the liturgical reform - is being called into question.

      "This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal form - the 'Forma ordinaria' - of the Eucharistic liturgy. The last version of the 'Missale Romanum' prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a 'Forma extraordinaria' of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were 'two rites.' Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.

      "As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a 'Forma extraordinaria' of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal. Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level. Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

      "Pope John Paul II thus felt obliged to provide, in his Motu Proprio 'Ecclesia Dei' (July 2, 1988), guidelines for the use of the 1962 Missal; that document, however, did not contain detailed prescriptions but appealed in a general way to the generous response of bishops towards the 'legitimate aspirations' of those members of the faithful who requested this usage of the Roman Rite. At the time, the Pope primarily wanted to assist the Society of St. Pius X to recover full unity with the Successor of Peter, and sought to heal a wound experienced ever more painfully. Unfortunately this reconciliation has not yet come about. Nonetheless, a number of communities have gratefully made use of the possibilities provided by the Motu Proprio. On the other hand, difficulties remain concerning the use of the 1962 Missal outside of these groups, because of the lack of precise juridical norms, particularly because bishops, in such cases, frequently feared that the authority of the Council would be called into question. Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio. The present norms are also meant to free bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.

      "In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.

      "It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the 'usus antiquior,' will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.

      "I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return . widen your hearts also!" (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

      "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

      "In conclusion, dear brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese.

      "Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.

      "Furthermore, I invite you, dear brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.

      "Dear brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio. Let us always be mindful of the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to the presbyters of Ephesus: 'Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.'

      "I entrust these norms to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my apostolic blessing to you, dear Brothers, to the parish priests of your dioceses, and to all the priests, your co-workers, as well as to all your faithful."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued an explanatory note concerning the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum". The most important paragraphs of the note are given below:

      "The Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' lays down new rules for the use of the Roman liturgy that preceded the reform of 1970. The reasons for such provisions are clearly explained in the Holy Father's letter to bishops which accompanies the Motu Proprio (the two documents have been sent to all the presidents of episcopal conferences and to all nuncios, who have arranged to distribute them to all bishops).

      "The fundamental provision is as follows: the Roman liturgy will have two forms ('usus'):

      "a) The ordinary form is the one that follows the liturgical reform undertaken by Pope Paul VI in the year 1970, as it appears in the liturgical books promulgated at that time. There is an official edition in Latin which may be used always and everywhere, and translations in divers languages published by the various episcopal conferences.

      "b) The extraordinary form: which is that celebrated in accordance with the liturgical books published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962."

      In paragraph 8 the note reads: "The bishop of a particular place may erect a personal parish, wherever there is to be found a very substantial number of faithful who wish to follow the earlier liturgy. It would be appropriate for the numbers of faithful to be substantial, even if not comparable to those of other parishes."

      The explanatory note also highlights some of the characteristics of the 1962 Missal:

      "It is a 'complete' or 'integral' Missal in the Latin language, that is, it also contains the readings for the celebrations (it is not distinct from the 'Lectionary' as the later 1970 Missal is).

      "It contains just one Eucharistic prayer, the 'Roman Canon' (corresponding to the first Eucharist Prayer of the later Missal, which includes a choice of various Eucharistic Prayers).

      "Various prayers (including a large part of the Canon) are recited by the priest in a low voice inaudible to the people.

      "Other differences include the reading of the beginning of the Gospel of John at the end of Mass.

      "The 1962 Missal does not provide for concelebration. It says nothing concerning the direction of the altar or of the celebrant (whether facing the people or not).

      "The Pope's Letter envisages the possibility of future enrichment of the 1962 Missal (inclusion of new saints, new prefaces, etc.)."

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, who today completed their "ad limina" visit.

      "The fundamental aim of your pastoral ministry," the Pope told the bishops, "must be to ensure that the truth about Christ and the truth about man penetrate still more deeply into the various levels of Dominican society."

      This task, said Benedict XVI, "not without difficulties, takes place among a people whose spirit is open and sensitive to the Good News." Despite the fact that in the Dominican Republic there are evident "symptoms of a process of secularization in which, for many people, God does not represent the source, the goal, or the ultimate meaning of life, in the end, as you well know, this people has a profoundly Christian soul."

      "Another of the fundamental objectives of new evangelization," he continued, "is the family." In this context, he gave assurances that the Church supports families against "the great challenges they have to face," and "encourages them in their faith, safeguarding their perseverance in a Christian project for life, often subject to so many vicissitudes and dangers."

      The Holy Father highlighted how the Church seeks to ensure that "the family remains a real environment in which a person is born, grows up and is educated for life, and in which parents, in their tender love for their children, prepare them for healthy interpersonal relationships that incarnate human and moral values in the midst of a society so marked by hedonism and religious indifference."

      After stressing the need for the State authorities "to collaborate still more in the indispensable task of working in favor of families," the Pope affirmed that he was not unaware of "the difficulties facing the institution of the family in the country, especially with the drama of divorce and pressures to legalize abortion, as well as the spread of unions not in accordance with the Creator's design for marriage."

      Promoting priestly and religious vocations, said Benedict XVI, "must be a priority for bishops and a commitment for all the faithful. ... In addition to integral formation, profound discernment of the human and Christian suitability of seminarians is required, so as to as to give the best possible guarantee of the dignified practice of their future ministry."

      The Pope noted how in the field of migration the bishops dedicate "much energy to caring for groups of Dominicans abroad," and he called upon them "to accompany with great charity, as you do already, Haitian immigrants who have left their country seeking better living conditions for themselves and their families."

      On the subject of the evangelization of culture, the Holy Father pointed out that "in this task we cannot overlook the social communications media: radio, television productions, videos and computer networks can be very useful for a wider diffusion of the Gospel. This task devolves particularly upon the laity."

      Benedict XVI underlined the need to ensure that lay people receive "adequate religious formation, so as to enable them to face the numerous challenges of modern society. It is their task to promote human and Christian values that illuminate the political, economic and cultural life of the country, with the aim of instituting a more just and more equitable social order, in accordance with the Social Doctrine of the Church."

      "At the same time, in accordance with ethical and moral norms, [the laity] must provide an example of honesty and transparency in the management of public affairs, in the face of the unseen and widespread blight of corruption, which at times even touches areas of political and economic power, as well as other spheres of public and social life."

      * * *


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      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

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      * * *


      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium
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      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus
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