CDF assumes duties of Ecclesia Dei Commission
With a new Apostolic Letter issued "motu proprio", Pope Francis has suppressed the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which was established thirty years ago by Pope St. John Paul II.
By Christopher Wells
The Holy See has published the text of an Apostolic Letter, issued motu proprio on 17 January 2019, by which Pope Francis suppresses the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Established by St John Paul II
The Commission was established by Pope St John Paul II on 2 July 1988, with the “task of collaborating with the bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre [the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, or FSSPX], who may wish to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church.”
Dialogue with FSSPX
In the Letter, Pope Francis notes the “sincere solicitude and praiseworthy care” with which the Commission undertook its work. He explained, however, that “the conditions that led the holy Pontiff John Paul II to the institution” of the Ecclesia Dei Commission have changed since its foundation. Notably, the dialogue with the FSSPX is now focused primarily on questions of a doctrinal nature. For this reason, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requested, in November of 2017, that the dialogue with the priestly fraternity be conducted directly by the CDF.
The new motu proprio effects that change through the suppression of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Care for traditional communities and faithful
In addition to the dialogue with the FSSPX, the Pontifical Commission had also exercised the authority of the Holy See “over various institutes and religious communities which it has erected which have as their ‘proper Rite’ the ‘extraordinary form’ of the Roman Rite and observe the previous traditions of the religious life.” It was also tasked with looking after and promoting “the pastoral care of the faithful attached to the antecedent Latin liturgical tradition, present in various parts of the world.”
In the motu proprio suppressing the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Pope Francis notes that “the Institutes and Religious Communities which habitually celebrate in the extraordinary form have today found their own stability of number and life.”
New Section of CDF
With the Apostolic Letter, the Holy Father assigns the duties of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in their entirety to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “within which a specific Section will be set up in order to continue the work of vigilance, promotion, and protection” of the suppressed Commission.
Finally, Pope Francis disposes that the budget of the Ecclesia Dei Commission fall within the ordinary accounting of the CDF.
Sistine Chapel Choir now part of Liturgical Celebrations
Pope Francis releases a motu proprio making the Sistine Chapel Choir part of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations.
By Devin Watkins
With an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on Saturday, Pope Francis decreed that “the Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel should be inserted into the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff”.
He said the Office for Liturgical Celebrations holds “a specific place of service to papal liturgical functions and, at the same time, is a guardian and promoter of the prestigious artistic and musical heritage produced over the centuries by the Choir itself for the solemn liturgies of the Popes.”
The Pope writes that the Sistine Chapel Choir has always had “a direct connection with the major celebrations of the Popes”.
Pope Francis said the decision was taken “bearing in mind the dictates of the Council concerning the Sacred Liturgy”, in particular nn.28-29 of the Sacrosanctum Concilium.
Msgr. Guido Marini
In the motu proprio, Pope Francis also appointed the Master of Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, as the Head of the Sistine Chapel Choir, “entrusting him with the task of guiding all activities, including the liturgical, pastoral, spiritual, artistic, and educational areas, of the Choir”.
He tasked Msgr. Marini with “making ever more perceptible, in it and its individual components, the primary purpose of sacred music, which ‘is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful’ (SC 112).”
Archbishop Guido Pozzo
Finally, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Guido Pozzo as the Superintendent of the Economy (or Treasurer) of the Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel.
Archbishop Pozzo previously served as Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which Pope Francis suppressed on Saturday.
The Pope entrusted him “only with the task of caring for the economic administration of the Choir itself, to be carried out under the guidance of the Master of Ceremonies and Head of the Pontifical Musical Chorus.”
In effect, he has ended the protections the Vatican was providing to diocesan priests who use the EF rites in addition to the OF. From now on, local bishops will be free to restrict or suppress use of the EF by diocesan priests.
sounds positive. Oremus
I don't believe this is good news. I have a suspicion that very soon the CDF will declare that the Latin Mass, the 1962 missal, etc.. violates "fraternity," or some such nonsense, and threaten excommunication. Mark my words.
The various stories that I post don’t indicate that Dan. The doctrinal issues are not liturgical or the ecclesiology of the EF Mass, but rather now issues surrounding Vatican II’s ecumenism, interfaith dialogues and dialogue with the world as well as religious freedom. It is about full reintegration of the SSPX which has made these issues central, as SP has reconciled the older liturgy into the heart of the post Vatican II Church.
I do think that bishops and pastors of parishes have to safeguard parishes from rogue priests who impose on them silly innovations with the OF Mass or impose, Willy nelly the EF on them.
I wonder too if the photo of an actual modern EF Mass is the first to appear on VATICAN RADIO, now Vatican News website which is the official news agency of the Pope?
This was a topic at our Latin Mass Knights of Columbus teleconference this week. In summary, the attendees from FSSPX didn't see it as making any difference to the current situation. Comments were made, to the effect, that the Ecclesia Dei had a function for the Vatican and SSPX similar to that of the Canadian consulate in Tehran has for the USA (my analogy). Now that there is direct dialogue with the Vatican on important issues the need for liaison "is disappeared". While it is prudent to consider that a Peronist would bring a group he needs to control, or crush, closer to himself so that they are within dagger distance, the SSPX seems to think that they could quickly withdraw to the old boundaries if they become suspicious or feel threatened. The strength of the SSPX strategy is they are financially independent and insulated from the malfeasance of the Vatican and are not bound to the personal preferences of the local bishop. The people I talked with seemed to think that the Catholic Church in the USA was heading rapidly toward bankruptcy and that the perennial (traditionalist) Catholic parishes would be the few still holding title to their own properties.
The Pope lacks the competence to outlaw the EF. Clerics would be free to ignore such a directive.
But TJM, that has always been the case but I do think that the laity were either given the direct instruction that it was outlawed or allowed to think so when it clearly was not. I still don't fully comprehend the hostility of so many clergy to the EF. But it is real and you can see it in the eyes and reaction of many clergy when they discover you are from a TLM parish. That bleeds through to the laity who often go into a defensive mode when they discover your parish is TLM.
They are sick, twisted people who would do the Church and its Faithful a big favor by leaving. Not a perfect analogy, but kind of like a lawyer who does not like the Laws that were written before 1963.
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