From Fr. Tran at St. Mary’s by the Sea in the Diocese of Orange:
Regarding the Tridentine Mass
at our parish, I
would like to make some clarifications, following the
directives of Bishop Brown in 3 points:
1) “The availability of a priest, in good standing, who
can demonstrate a minimum rubrical and linguistic
Your servant/brother in Christ,
ability to celebrate the extraordinary form”.
For this point we do not have any problems:
Fr. Mackin and I can learn hard to celebrate the
Tridentine Mass with the help of other priests.
2) “The ‘group’ of the faithful (that) exists ‘stably’
needs to be of sufficient number to warrant the
public use of the forma extraordinaria.
Individuals who are not geographically or
intentionally part of a particular parish
community should have recourse to their
proper parish with their request or to the
existing public celebrations that presently are
offered in the Diocese of Orange at Mission
Juan Capistrano and Pope John Paul II Center”.
For this point: I believe that we have a
sufficient number of parishioners to warrant the
public use of the Tridentine Mass. Furthermore,
the directive of the Bishop is very clear: for
those who are not parishioners of St. Mary’s by
the Sea: either geographically not from our parish (visitors are OK),
registered/willing being part of St. Mary’s by the Sea: either geographically not from our
parish (visitors are OK), or intentionally not registered/willing being part of St. Mary’s by
the Sea (but just coming for the Tridentine
Mass), they should go back to their home
parishes to request the Tridentine Mass or they
can go to Mission San Juan Capistrano or Pope
John Paul II Center to attend the Tridentine
Mass celebrated there.
Many will remember the previous problems at St. Mary by the Sea and Fr. Tran where parishioners complaining about not kneeling after the Agnus Dei were told "with the approval of the Bishop, I (very sadly) officially invite you To leave the parish St. Mary’s by the Sea and the diocese of Orange." Fr. Tran has even said that it was a "mortal sin" to kneel after the Agnus Dei. Something that was clarified later by the diocese. The parish at one time held the indult Mass and this stopped, I believe, after the arrival of Fr. Tran causing much friction in the parish.
First off I would like to applaud Fr. Tran for responding to those in his parish who would like the extraordinary form of Mass and his commitment to learn to celebrate it. With all of the bad blood in the parish it would have been so easy to finds reasons not to do so.
I do though wonder about the Bishop’s directives and Fr. Trans’ interpretation. Surely as the Bishop states parishioners should go to their home parish to let them know of their desire for the older form of Mass. But I don’t think the either/or directive meets muster. Under the current code of Canon Law the faithful are not restricted to mainly attend Mass at their own parish. I just don’t see how someone could be restricted from attending their Tridentine Mass. Plus how could such a restriction be carried out in the first place? Will parishioners have to prove parish registry to attend the Mass if they are not visitors? Will there be a secret knock or a password required? (Which would be Swordfish for Marx brother’s fans) Ushers trained to identify non-registered Catholics stationed at the door. Wanted: Ushers with previous training as bouncers with skills to detect non St. Mary’s by the Sea parishioners. Maybe registered parishioners will get their hand inked with some permanent stamp like at some amusement park.
Wouldn’t anybody attending who is not registered technically a visitor anyway? Plus the whole system of parish registry is not something mandated from Canon Law and is really just a tool parishes use.
Kudos to Fr. Tran for making available the Tridentine Mass, but there is a problem with either inviting people to leave or requesting people not to come in the first place.
[Via Roman Catholic Blog]