Thursday, May 03, 2007

Catholics sitting on their seat's edge

The existence of the much rumored Motu Proprio no longer being in doubt, the two questions now are when and what. With apologies to scripture ... "No one knows the day or the hour..." However this of course has not deterred the online rumor mill from speculating ad infinitum. Although I have repeatedly avoided this speculation, I will note that the two most frequently mentioned dates among those waiting with impatience (or dread), were April 30th and May 5th. Why? Because they are the dates of the feast Pope Pius V who is much venerated by traditionalists and those who are fans of the classical (Tridentine) Roman Rite. Pius V of course issued the much quoted papal bull Quo Primum Tempore which some trads have gone so far as to opine to be an infallible document.*

Of course a quick glance at the calendar will show that April 30th (the saint's feast on the reformed Catholic calendar) has now passed. May 5th is his feast on the traditional calendar as observed in the 1962 missal. To say that a lot of trads will be deeply disapointed if they don't wake up on Saturday morning to find a little gift from Rome in the news, would, I suspect be an understatement.

Of course everyone who has read this blog knows I have religiously (no pun) avoided speculating on the date. But without saying ya or nay, I will admit that a May 5th release date would not terribly surprise me. We will see.

Of far more interest to me than the date is the substance. What will the MP actually say? How broad will it be and what conditions will be attached. Will this be a step towards the much discussed "reform of the reform?" Or will it be more restrictive? More interesting reading will come if the rumored cover letter to the world's bishops materializes. That may prove to be as or even more important than the wording of the MP itself. Again we shall see. From that point of view I do wish that B-XVI would hurry up. The tantalizing lead up has lasted long enough.

* I vigorously disagree with that assessment. QP is an essentially disciplinary document and is not irreformable by any of his successors. The question of whether or not it was ever lawfully abrogated however, is a fair one. The former Cardinal Ratzinger went on record with +John Paul II in the 1980's to the effect that it was not abrogated and remained in effect.


Joseph Gryniewicz said...

Ha! You, I, and all the rest of us! But, relative to the whole history of the Church, the 2 years that Benedict has been in office (And the MP rumors began almost immediately) have been a very short time to wait.

I suspect that Rome showing favor to her own liturgical traditions will be a plus, rather than a negative, between the still sadly divided Christian East and West.

Ad Orientem said...

I concur.

Christ is risen!