Rorate Caeli presents a hearsay report that Bergoglio told the recent meeting of the Italian Bishops Conference that he intends to abolish the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Some thoughts on this item, in order to reiterate some key points before such a thing may occur.
1. One must always remember that only a pope can abolish a motu proprio issued by the pope. This “duh” principle must always be remembered in our corrupt times. Let’s just spitball, and “speculate”, that Pope Benedict is still the pope. Who cares what a heretical prelate from Argentina says about Summorum Pontificum. His authority to do anything about it is about the same as his authority in my homeowners association: zero. But, for the sake of completeness, let us assume, arguendo for the rest of this post that Bergoglio is definitively and actually the pope.
2. One must always remember what Summorum Pontificum did and did not do, legally speaking, and thus understand the legal effect of abolishing it. Pope Benedict mostly just acknowledged a preexisting fact: the TLM was never abrogated and thus in principle could always have been (and can be) celebrated by any priest without need of any episcopal approval. Abolishing the motu proprio does not change the preexisting fact.
3. What the motu proprio did do was establish a juridical regime that declared that the ancient rite and the novus ordo were actually two different expressions of one only Roman Rite of Mass. This always seemed hard to square with reality, as it sure SEEMS like the two Masses are two different rites. Abolishing the motu proprio abolishes this purely juridical reality and thus we can go back to the more logical way of contrasting the two rites of Mass, the Roman Rite and the novus ordo.
4. Some say that abolishing the motu proprio would bring everyone back into an indult-only TLM regime. Of course Bergoglio and his minions will assume this and act as it is so. But since the TLM hasn’t been abrogated and every priest continues to have the right to celebrate it, it will be like the scamdemic regime has been in the secular sphere. Do you pretend that lies are reality, or do you man up? It is a question for all priests, prelates and laymen to answer at the appropriate time.
5. Since only the motu proprio limited (at the time) the TLM to the 1962 Missal, contra Quo Primum, any attempt to limit use of the immemorial custom of the Mass formally codified in 1570 has to address Quo Primum‘s declaration that it can never be prohibited for any priest to celebrate it. It would be interesting to watch the current intellectual lightweights in the curia try to do so.
6. Finally, abolishing Summorum Pontificum would be extremely interesting in Bergoglio’s interactions with the SSPX. He has showered them with Francismercy in the past several years, granting jurisdiction for confessions, lowering hurdles to be able celebrate weddings and attendant Masses, providing canonical review of their disciplinary decisions, and basically giving them more breathing room to operate without being hassled. Well, interestingly enough, Summorum Pontificum states any priest who is not “prevented by law” may say the TLM. Here is where my lack of canon law expertise prevents a fuller analysis. But I find the elimination of this requirement interesting. Is a cleric who is suspended a divinis “prevented by law”? Is this a loosening of restrictions on their priests by default? Likely not, but I just want to note the provision allegedly being abolished.
In short, as I have written before on my deleted pages, it is time to brush up on Quo Primum and to grow a spine. We have a right to this Mass. Priests have a right to this Mass. Anyone who maintains otherwise is like a person wanting to risk death to have an experimental biohazard derived from aborted fetal cell lines injected into their bodies to gain a 1.3% reduction in the likelihood of catching a cold.