Friday, December 4, 2009

"The Phantom Directive"

Thrilling movie title or business as usual at the chancery?

If you chose the latter, then you have chosen wisely!

The latest nonsense coming out of the Scranton Diocese chancery is that NO priest can say the Old Mass anywhere other than the cathedral.

With the exception of the FSSP guys at St. Michael's, I understand.

I have spent nearly two weeks in vain attempting to contact Monsignor Bambera (delegate to the Cardinal), Fr. Clarke (his assistant), Fr. Washington (the director of worship), Fr. Polednak (the Episcopal Vicar for the Southern region), and William Genello (Diocesan mouthpiece).
No one wanted to comment on this story. Let me make one more attempt: If any of you chancery guys would like to add to the record, you have my email and my phone number, please feel free to weigh in on the issue.

So, I am forced to move on without their input. Here's what happened:

A certain diocesan priest wanted to say the Old Mass at his parish. He was soon contacted by the chancery. Father Polednak, his Episcopal Vicar told him that there was a 'diocesan directive' compelling priests to celebrate the Old Mass only at the cathedral. And nowhere else.

When I and several others got wind of this we collectively said "Whoa! Hold yer horses, partner. That's not what the Pope said!"

I now present you with the text of His Holiness' Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (which is more than the Diocese can do with their 'phantom directive') from article 2 "...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."

So we can plainly see, the diocesan priest who wished to celebrate the Old Mass at HIS OWN CHURCH was well within his rights to do so, and Fr. Polednak was well outside of his. A persistent question is how does the directive of an Episcopal Vicar trump the Motu Proprio of a Pope?

Chancery guys? Anything?

(insert cricket chirping)

I hesitate to say Polednak was lying, but no one at the chancery was willing to provide me with a copy of the directive, including Polednak. I have to think this directive does not exist, which means that there is an attempt here to deny both Catholic priests and Catholic faithful of their rights as Catholics. Even if it does exist, the fact that they would use it when they know full well that it is contrary to the Pope's wishes is evil of itself. They are disobedient, and they are not carrying out God's plans for His Church.

I'll leave it up to you what their agenda is.

Other things are in motion concerning this issue, but until I can make them known to you, please pray that our Lord will soften the hearts of the men at our chancery, and that His will be done.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Come Holy Spirit, open the hearts of your faithful...


The Rockin' Traddy said...

...and your clergy!

Anonymous said...

Roaming Catholic writes:
Maybe the Diocese would approve if they celebrated the Old Rite in Spanish instead of in Latin.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Roaming - I wouldn't doubt it! I'll also bet you that if a Mexican requested the Old Mass in Latin you'd see one start up pretty soon.

Because it's all about them.

I think that for the first time in forever they are having 'morning prayer' over at Saint Nick's in Wilkes Barre on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They had it listed in their bulletin as 'Las Mananitas' I think. Interesting that they will do Lauds for them, but not for us.

petrock said...

>>Interesting that they will do Lauds for them, but not for us.<<
Hey, where did this "us-vs-them" come in? Doesn't Galatians 3:28 trump motu proprios? Spanish is closer to Latin than English, anyway. I thank God that our faith and churches are being re-energized by new immigrants in our midst, just as our Irish and Polish and Italian grandparents brought their own traditions into the mix. If you read the history of the Diocese of Scranton, you'll know how the Irish bishop O'Reilly deeply offended the Polish by forbidding Christmas Midnight Mass in the 1930s. It took the saintly Bishop Hafey to reconcile things. The Mexican devotion to the Virgin of Guadelupe is a deeply felt tradition that can bless us every one.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Petrock - motu proprio's? What's that have to do with praying the Liturgy of the Hours?

What I meant is that they will have lauds for mexican's at 5am for a special feast day, but where are they the rest of the time? The church has become far too lax is offering the faithful the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

Thanks for stopping by.

petrock said...

Thanks for your reply, but I still think Galatians 3:28 rules, and that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Maybe by going to 5 am Lauds/Mananitas in Spanish, we can learn something deeper about our faith--after all, it's nearer to Latin than English :-) I am fascinated by the fact that the Guadalupe tradition was emerging around the same time of the Council of Trent, which convened during the period when the Americas were first being colonized and Christianized. Trent was also about "positioning" the church in the new world order of its day, vis-a-vis the unbaptized "heathen." Too much to go into here, but I'd refer you to this Commonweal review of David Brading's book on the subject: I enjoy your blog; much food for thought and reflection.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

From what I hear, the Diocese is not aware of any such policy- and from what I hear they are not aware that you have ever tried to contact them.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Father - Ask Father C about it.