Friday, July 20, 2007

Summorum Pontificum in Richmond

The Diocese of Richmond has responded to Summorum Pontificum with not totally unexpected prorogation. To quote Catherine Combier-Donovan, director of the diocesan Office of Worship:
“Questions will have to be answered such as: what constitutes a “stable group of the faithful” requesting a Tridentine Mass, and which priests possess the minimum linguistic and rubrical abilities to celebrate this rite.
It is quite what one might expect from a diocese with the liberal leanings of Richmond under its previous bishop, but one hoped would not be seen under the present ordinary.
Certainly the term “stable group of the faithful” is rather vague, but how it is interpreted will tell the tale. In the southeastern portion of the diocese, in Hapton Road there is a large military population, which by definition is highly mobile. Will requesters have to be in the diocese for 5 years before they can be considered stable? Will they have to submit requests for that time to show they are really a stable group?
Certainly the priests who are to celebrate under the rite must by proficient at it. Will the diocese take steps to ensure its priest are properly trained or will it attempt to impede the necessary training, and then claim no one is proficient?
The Holy Father wants a report in three years. It will be interesting to see if the diocese has any additional locations where the Mass of John XXIII is celebrated by that time.

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