Bishop Trautman on Summorum Pontificum

Bishop Donald W. Trautman of the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania has responded tartly to the Motu Proprio with the following:

“Pope Benedict, sensitive to those still clinging to the Tridentine Latin Mass … now grants a more generous application of that former liturgy.”

Oh, this is precious. I love the “still clinging” image: still clinging after 7 years in my case! And “former liturgy”? Well, the whole point of the Motu Proprio is to emphasize that the TLM isn’t “former” any longer.

“Priests who might want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass will be given a rubrical and Latin exam to comply with the Pope’s own statement, ‘The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.’

I think we all know what to expect from the likes of Bishop Trautman in this regard. There is little doubt that he plans to make this “rubrical and Latin exam” (not a bad idea itself) intimidating enough to prevent any of his priests from celebrating the TLM. Let’s hope the Ecclesia Dei Commission deals swiftly and justly with roadblocks like this.

7 thoughts on “Bishop Trautman on Summorum Pontificum

  1. Trautman is a bit of twit, unfortunately. His first statement sounds like some sort of knee-jerk reaction that didn’t even require reading the mp.

    As for the second, an exam isn’t necessarily bad. After all, you worried that having NO-trained priests saying the J23 Mass would be like putting pearls before swine. Perhaps, the FSSP could step in and offer its expertise? One could only hope.


  2. “After all, you worried that having NO-trained priests saying the J23 Mass would be like putting pearls before swine.”

    No, no, no. I worried that forcing HOSTILE NO-trained priests – priests who viscerally oppose the old rite – to say the J23 Mass would be like putting pearls before swine. And I deleted those remarks precisely because they were too easily susceptible to the above misinterpretation.

    Anyway, you’re right, I don’t think the idea of an exam is a bad thing in itself. But a diocese that requires an exam should provide training to assist priests in passing it. Somehow I don’t think that is on Bishop Trautman’s agenda.


  3. Here is a bit of hope…my priest has been offering the Traditional Mass every Sunday (and most Holy Days as well) for the past several years. The Traditional Mass is now the youngest and most heavily attended of all his Masses. Two days after the “Summorum Pontificum” was published, Father’s cell phone was ringing non-stop, with calls from local priests interested in receiving instruction in the rubrics of the Latin Mass. The interest is there!

    Una Voce America is also offering, with cooperation from the FSSP, training seminars to priests interested in celebrating the Latin Mass.

    Our Bishop (Diocese of Columbus) has yet to issue a statement on the SP. It is the great hope of my husband and myself, to encourage our Bishop to be one of the first to offer the sacrament of Confirmation (to our son and any other young person of age) according to the Traditional Rite. I believe it is extremely important that our Bishops are made aware that we are not a small number “clinging” to this “former” liturgy. With charity, we can raise their awareness. Call me an optimist ;-D


  4. I wonder if Trautman’s “exam” will be anything like the old “literacy tests” that southern blacks had to pass before they could register to vote…


  5. The whole point of SP was that it’s no longer the bishop’s call whether or not a priest may use the extraordinary form. If a priest starts saying the TLM, what will the bishop do about it? He can’t forbid.


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