It is now two years since Pope Benedict sanctioned the use of the 1962 Missal commonly called the Latin Mass as a Forma Extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass.

[display_podcast] This podcast made available from Vatican Radio

In this podcast Fr. Joseph Kramer, FSSP discusses it implementation.


Summorum Pontificum

The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum is the document issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 which permitted the use of 1962 Missal (the last edition of the Latin Mass before the reforms of Vatican II) in certain circumstances. The current vernacular liturgy remains the ordinary form of the Mass to be used throughout the Church.

Click on link to download Summorum Pontificum (unofficial translation)

Given below is the text of the English-language version of Benedict XVIs Letter to all the bishops of the world concerning his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which was published today.

Click on link to download Explanatory Papal Letter re Latin Mass permission

Motu proprio

A motu proprio is a papal rescript in which theLatin phrasemotu proprio of his own accord -is used, signifying that the provisions of the rescript were decided by the Pope personally and not by a cardinal or other advisors.A motu proprio rescript begins by giving the reasons for issuing it, and continues to describe the law or regulation being made or the favour granted.

Extracts from Explanatory Papal Letter

My dear brother Bishops ….

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 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…

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 Churchs 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…

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…

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…

Given at Saint Peters, 7 July 2007