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The Legacy and Tragic Flaws of Summorum Pontificum

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Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum; Dr Kwasniewski and I both have articles about it published today in Crisis Magazine.

In mine, which is titled “Summorum Pontificum at Fourteen: Its Legacy”, I argue that it is precisely in the celebration of the traditional rite that we see the authentic fulfillment of what Vatican II wanted and asked for in Sacrosanctum Concilium, and that it is perhaps insecurity over this fact that lies behind the much discussed (but still, as yet, unconfirmed) possible restrictions of Summorum Pontificum.

Peter writes in “Summorum Pontificum at Fourteen: Its Tragic Flaws”, that for all the good it has done, the document accepts a bad premise, that it is normal for the Popes to be constantly tinkering with the liturgy, and concomitantly, to withdraw a perennial liturgical tradition, replace it, or unwithdraw it. “As great as are the benefits we have been able to reap through Summorum Pontificum, we are in dire need of a more comprehensive theological understanding of the inherent rightfulness of traditional liturgy and the inalienability (so to speak) of the rights of clergy and laity to such liturgy.”

Thanks to the editor of Crisis, Eric Sammons, for his invitation to contribute, and of course, thanks to His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – ad multos annos!


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