July 11, 2007

Summorum Pontificum: Lay Empowerment

Summorum Pontificum is supposed to be a victory for traditionalist catholics, but on the other hand it holds up what is usually seen as a progressive and liberal catholic value: the empowerment of the lay faithful.

There is now a (more generalized) choice between the ordinary form of the Roman rite found in the missal of Paul VI and the extraordinary form, found in the missal of Blessed John XXIII. And who gets to choose? Not the bishop or the pastor, but the lay faithful.

Consider the beginning of article 5:
In those parishes, where a group of the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy exists continuously, the pastor shall accept their petitions to celebrate the holy mass according the Roman Missal of 1962.

And again, the beginning of article 7:
Where there is such a group of the lay faithful, as in article 5, paragraph 1, not having obtained their wish from the pastor, they should make the issue known to the diocesan bishop.


Thus what seems like a conserving and "conservative" document puts the power of choice in the hands of the laity, who have recourse even against the opinions of their pastors!

1 comment:

Pia said...

This is one aspect that I consider positive, and which may be a sign of change with respect to the lay faithful, perhaps even with regards to other aspects of religious practice.