Vatican confirms freedom of priests to celebrate Extraordinary Form whenever they like – no need for 'stable group'
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Good news from Rome: the Vatican has further underlined the freedom of priests to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form whenever they choose. Two important points have been clarified by Ecclesia Dei, which will make it more difficult for the English, Welsh and above all Scottish bishops to stall the implementation of Summorum Pontificum:
1. A priest does NOT have to be approached by a “stable group” of the faithful in order to schedule a PUBLIC celebration of the Extraordinary Form – he may choose to do so, for example, in order to introduce his parishioners to this ancient form of the Roman Rite. Or because it’s his aunt’s birthday. Any reason, really.
2. A Mass in the Extraordinary Form may replace a regularly scheduled Mass in the Ordinary Form.
You can find more details of the Ecclesia Dei ruling here, on the excellent New Liturgical Movement blog. I do hope that priests will be encouraged by this document to exercise their full rights under Summorum Pontificum. I know of several instances in which British bishops are trying to undermine the Pope’s wishes, though I’m not going to go public where it would make the situation worse. But it is common knowledge that the situation is particularly serious is Scotland, where EF Masses are extremely rare and official claims that there is no demand for them need to be scrutinised very carefully, shall we say. More on that later.
Meanwhile, traditionalist priests and seminarians should take heart. Your hour is coming.