This may sound desperately dull, but Universae Ecclesiae is the last word on the legal status of the Traditional Mass, the Extraordinary Form, and of the process by which we can ask for it. I suspect it will remain the last word, substantially, for a good while, partly because it did what was needed, and partly because Pope Francis has other priorities. This means that understanding this document properly is of particular significance.
And this is another chance to embarrass the Latinists of the Vatican who think they can fob us off with inaccurate or tendentious translations from the Italian version, or whatever it is they do, instead of giving us a faithful rendering of the Latin. I'd love to hear of a single example in this document, or of many others, when sloppy translation favours the cause of the Traditional Mass and those who wish to celebrate or attend it. It is not carelessness, it is a systematic bias.
I've put it on the LMS website, and created a pdf with the Vatican's translation, the Latin, and the literal translation, are side by side in parallel.
Here are some examples.
'5. Many of the faithful, formed in the spirit of the liturgical forms prior to the Second Vatican Council, expressed a lively desire to maintain the ancient tradition.'
'5. But quite a number of Christ’s faithful, imbued with the spirit of the liturgical rites prior to the Second Vatican Council, expressed a noteworthy desire to keep the ancient tradition.'
They weren't formed in those rites, necessarily - that suggests they grew up in them. Few trads today were: but they are imbued with them.
8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and has the aim of:
8. The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, and of his munus of ruling, and of arranging the Sacred Liturgy, and of his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the Universal Church. The Letter itself has the aim of:
The Holy Father's gift of ruling is not limited to fiddling about with the liturgy, and that is not all that is at issue here. The Motu Proprio was not a piece of liturgical legislation, but a wider act of governing the Church.
Vatican website: the first aim of the Motu Proprio
8 a. offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved;
8 a. bestowing on all of the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, as a precious treasure to be preserved;
No one is going to be forced to go, but it is given to all, it belongs to all, it is part of the Church's liturgical life - whether you like it or not. And it is not just 'considered' a precious treasure - 'prout pretiosum thesaurum' - it is one.
21. Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.
21. Ordinaries are strenuously asked to provide for clergy who are in training a suitable opportunity for acquiring the art of celebrating in the forma extraordinaria; and this is most especially applicable for Seminaries, in which it shall be provided that the students of sacred things be aptly instructed, by learning the Latin language  and, where circumstances demand it, the actual forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.
32. Art. 9 § 3 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum gives clerics the faculty to use the Breviarium Romanum in effect in 1962, which is to be prayed entirely and in the Latin language.
32. To all clerics is granted the faculty of reciting the Roman Breviary of the year 1962, about which Art. 9 § 3 of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, and, what is more, entirely and in the Latin language.
Priests don't have to say the whole of the Breviary according to the 1962 books, or none of it: they can use any part of it they like. (This will come up, for example, if they attend a public celebration of Vespers according to 1962, and the like.)
34. The use of the liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted.
34. It is permitted to members of Religious Orders to use their proper liturgical books in force in the year 1962.
The Vatican translators made it sound as though the whole order would have to agree about using their old books. Not so: each and every member has a right to use them, of his own volition.
But have a look at the whole thing, hardly a section goes by without the translators sticking their oar in to weaken, confuse, lessen, and thwart, in subtle ways, Pope Benedict's clarity of mind and generosity of spirit in giving us this legislation.
As always, comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
As always, comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
As a former aspirant to the Third Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS), #34 was the biggest struggle I faced. According to my FSSP priest, this document allowed me to pray Lauds and Vespers from the 1962 Breviary when reciting the Office personally. However, my novice director specifically told me that if I prayed the 1962 Office that I was not fulfilling my obligation to praying the office.ReplyDelete
I say former because I was told that the council did not feel that I had the charism of the Order. I still believe, however, that the reason that I was asked to leave was their concern over my Extraordinary Form devotion.
An excellent post, Dr. Shaw, that should produce fruitful discussion. I'll admit to being puzzled by the Vatican's lackluster English translations these days--do you suppose this is where former ICEL members landed?ReplyDelete
All the best.
The Vatican translation is tendentious, and the gloss appears systematic. This is palpable evidence of a "fifth column" (one or two individuals, or institutionally) at work. Is there some official way of communicating this to Rome?ReplyDelete
I think people in Rome are well aware of the problem. It is just the usual problem that the people who can do something about it don't want to.ReplyDelete
A similar problem is the selection of documents to translate. There is still no English translation of Summorum Pontificum on the Vatican website; it is only translated into Italian and Hungarian. If you complain to the PCED, they tell you translations are done by another body. That body doesn't have the PCED's priorities.
This project is an excellent idea and a real opportunity to consider how some of the provisions of this important document can be applied.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure that your literal translation of para 32 supports the idea that those bound to the recitation of the office may use either one form or the other at whim. While we understand that it is always possible to fulfil this obligation by assisting at isolated celebrations such as Vespers, Compline, Matins or one of the little hours in either form, I think this clarifiction is actually to ensure that combinations of the two forms are not habitually used on a daily basis.
For instance, I would imagine that the injuction "quidem integre et Latino sermone" suggests that it is not licit for a priest to pray Office of Readings everyday from the Liturgia horarum and then to say the days hours from the Breviarium Romanum. In this way, the integrity of the day's office would be continually compromised and the basic principle of praying of the whole psalter rendered continually impossible (in either form). A person who is not obliged to the entire office obviously has greater liberty.
I have gone back to one of the Latinists I consulted in the course of this translation, and he writes as follows:ReplyDelete
'My view is that each of the two interpretations is technically 'probable'; and that, accordingly, one can invoke the principle that a lex dubia does not constrain.
The idea that one might lawfully mix up the two uses is supported by Laudis Canticum of Paul VI, 1970, giving bishops the power to allow priests with age-related or other problems "Breviarium Romanum, quod antea in usu erat, sive ex toto sive ex parte retinere". So, even if Mgr Wadsworth is right, all a priest who wishes to oscillate between the uses needs to do is to get a faculty from his bishop under the Pauline legislation!'
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I am obliged to choir office (i.e. the ordinary form as used in choir, Office of Readings, Lauds, Little Hour, Vespers and Compline. When I recite the office privately (i.e. when I am away) I use the Breviarium Romanum entirely, and even pray those hours which I may miss in choir due to other duties. For example, I am in choir for Office of Readings and Lauds, but pray the little hours privately when not in choir etc.I do not need to repeat Matins and Lauds because I have already fulfilled my obligation: it is not necessary to repeat them from another form of the office.I believe that this is justifiable because 'all' clerics, including those who are religious, are able to use BR to fulfil their obligation to pray the office. So in some circumstances, including mine, one would, indeed, fulfil one's obligation by using both forms of the Roman Office.I assume, correctly I think, that the legislator is acquainted with the life of religious.ReplyDelete