An Instruction on the implementation of the new rules concerning the usage of the traditional Liturgy is quite likely to be issued, although this won't happen as fast as some are fearing (the drafts of such general documents are supposed to follow a complex procedure before the final approval, which it should be more difficult to hasten by smuggling the same drafts on the Papal table – though the Reigning one is quite unpredictable in that respect). However, because the motu proprio went immediately in force, it is urgent to address various practical issues: in my previous piece on the subject, I confined myself to those stemming from the lack of vacatio legis and a few others, due to space constraints, but I have drawn the main lines according to which all of them can be sorted out; therefore, here I am simply assuming that the reader will have read it before and going on straight away, in QA format.
- if TLM is celebrated cum populo, then it falls under the Bishop's newly conferred power to decide where and when such celebrations for the benefit of preexisting coetus are to be held and it's up to the diocesan Bishop if it can go on or not; however,
- until he decides, everything goes on as before, in full legitimacy,
- before he decides, he is required by law to listen to the concerned people and their issues (see can. 50),
- in the text of the decision, he must explain his reasoning and address the concrete matter – a generic ramble about the motu proprio, the Council and so on would not do (see can. 51);
- on the other hand, if the Mass is sine populo and as such confined, so to speak, between the walls of the convent or anu similar place, no authorization is needed either from the Bishop or the major Superiors, who, as I've already said, are not actually included in the expression “diocesan Bishop”. Therefore, give the lack of provisions in the new law, one must conclude that for this situation “Summorum Pontificum” art. 2 does remain in force and such celebrations are still authorized by the law itself.
A – Yes.
4 – What must be done regarding the readings and their proclamation in the language of the people?
“However, it is desirable that a lector read the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular for the benefit of the faithful at low Masses on Sundays and feast days. ”;“Finally, if a particular indult has been granted for the priest, deacon, subdeacon, or lector to read solemnly the Epistle, Lesson, or Gospel in the vernacular after they have been chanted in their Gregorian melodies, they must be read in a loud and clear voice, without any attempt to imitate the Gregorian melodies”.
- ten days from the moment when you know of the decision, so that you may ask in writing that it is amended or nullified (you can add more reasons later on). Please take not that all administrative acts should be issued and given in written form, yet it's better to react against such “decisions” as may be issue or disseminated by voice too, asling at the same time to be served the written document and, out of prudent, that the content you heard of be changed. To avoid any problems with the recourse coming from a coetus, it one be better to have more than one person sign such requests, with a statement that all the undersigned are acting in their own capacity as well as members of the coetus, and the same goes true for all the subsequent steps;
- the faithful are free to enumerate and expound on all the reasons why the Bishop's decree is unfit for the situation, makes things more difficult for them, etc.; the best course of action is alwauys to stick to the facts and the case at hand, refraining from broad general statements, but two legal grounds of nullity we are going to see quite a lot are the lack of consulytations with the people that is going to be affected by the decision (can. 50) and the lack of motivation (can. 51), especially should the Bishop content himself with saying or writing “The Council... the Pope...”;
- after he has recived the request – which should better be sent by registered mail or any equivalent means – the Bishop must answer it within thirty days;
- if he rejects it or ignores it, the faithful have a fifteen days window to appeal to CDW, for any reason, even of mere opportunity (for instance, “He has put as in the tiny church on top of Mt. Onethousandavalanches”);
- the Congregation in turn must act within ninety days (please take note that can. 57 says “three months”, but in canon law months are always numbered as having thirty days each, regardless of the calendar), afterwards, unless it has notified that it needs more time, the reject of the appeal is presumed and can be challenged before the Signatura;
- to lodge an appeal before the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the faithful have sixty days, but they can only complain about breaches of law, because the Signatura decides whether a given act of the ecclesiastical authority is lawful, not if it is also the most expedient possible one. Therefore you should say, for instance, “The Bishop violated TC 3 because he suppressed the Mass, period, he didn't even try to find out whether the faithful adhere to the Council etc., and the Congregation incurred in the same vice by staying silent and/or rejecting our recourse”. You are under no obligation to file such an appeal through a lawyer, although it would be wise to do so for many reasons, but such obligations arises afterwards and involves all subsequent acts. Moreover, in principle it is not enough to be accredited before the Roman Rota, you'd need a lawyer enlisted among the Advocati apud Curiam Romanam: practically speaking, then, it would be better to contact one of them beforehand, maybe to use his service already before the Congregation, and in any case get the Advocati list from the Supreme Tribunal's Chancery.
in die festo S. Laurentii Martyris
Guido Ferro Canale