Vital Signs

Enemies of the Motu Proprio

In a private conversation before the release of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum,” a leading personality of U.K. Catholicism predicted that the reinstatement of the Traditional Latin Mass would grant again such an abundant flow of graces that it would even effect the restoration of society on sound Christian principles.  While that outcome remains to be seen, the release of the motu proprio has certainly sparked a series of controversies and debates—especially in Italy, the heart of Catholicism, and that goes a long way in showing how sensitive the issue is among faithful and nonfaithful alike.

The news, which occupied a full page in La Stampa (November 26), that three priests went on an unprecedented “Mass strike” over the issue is still sending shock waves.  The priests were not striking in protest of the motu proprio, as one might presume; instead, diocesan priests in the area of Domodossola (in northwestern Italy’s Piedmont region) who were already celebrating the older (or “extraordinary,” as termed in the motu proprio) form of the Roman Rite on a daily basis were protesting against their bishops, who would like them to celebrate the Novus Ordo (the “ordinary” form of the Roman Rite, as described in the motu proprio) and to say the Old Mass only once on Sundays and other feast days.  Other...

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