by Guido Ferro Canale
- the abrogation for incompatibility presupposes the complete reorganization of the subject matter (can. 20); if only a few points are changed, there is a partial abrogation, also known as derogation, but the rest of the pre-existing regulations remain in force;
- when in doubt, the abrogation, either total or partial, is not presumed; indeed, the two laws must be reconciled through proper statutory construction (can. 21);
- all the provisions in favor of individual or associated faithful must always be interpreted in such a way that they effectively achieve an advantage (cf. cann. 36, 77, 92);
- the laws that restrict the use of rights are subject to strict interpretation (can. 18);
- particular law, such as eg. statutes and constitutions of religious, and customs ab immemorabili [from time immemorial — TN] are abrogated only if expressly mentioned (cann. 20 and 28).
1.1 Transitional Law: it is lawful to celebrate until further notice
- it retains its value even if the competence to decide changes (as in this case, since it has been transferred from the parish priests to the bishops); a fortiori [with stronger reason — TN], therefore, if — as in fact happens in most cases — it has been granted by the Bishop;
- In order to revoke or modify it, a new specific provision is required, which will only become effective upon notification to the recipients.
1.2 The logic of suspicion and its consequences
Instead he didn’t do that.
I repeat it: he didn’t do that.
1.3 Re-education camps until the Mass will die out?
But “reality is superior to the idea.”
But is it really a disapproved situation?
Actually, the Letter to the Bishops seems to distinguish three different situations:
- “the will to favor the recomposition of the schism with the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre,” which is the alleged main reason for the 1984/88 pardon; in this regard, no innovations are introduced, in the sense that the aim of recomposing the schism cannot be repudiated by any Pope, much less by one who has objectively lavished concessions aimed at this, and that the only provision concerning the so called Institutes of the “Ecclesia Dei” limits itself to transferring competence over them to another Dicastery of the Roman Curia;
- “the possibility of freely using the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V, determining a parallel use to the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Paul VI,” seen essentially as an abusive reading, a source of phenomena that Benedict XVI intended to regulate and of a category of faithful who “are rooted in the previous celebratory form and need time to return to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II”; (3) here it should be noted that their need for time is accepted, while providing for their “good” through the celebrations in place;
- the use of the 1962 Missal as a source of dispute, which must immediately cease.
2. The juridical condition of the Tridentine Mass
All the rest of art. 1 of “Summorum Pontificum” remains in force.
For this fundamental reason, it doesn’t matter how suspicious and restrictive the rest of TC may sound: the principle “celebrare licet” [celebration is allowed — TN] is still in force. Although caution must be exercised with the provisional vernacular versions, the constant use of the terms “authorization” and “authorize” confirms this: not only in the Italian administrative law, but also in the canonical context (where, however, the terminology is much more fluid), you are granted something that is not due in itself or in any case a faculty that you did not have before, but it is authorized, always and only, the exercise of a right that you already possess.
So can we still speak of a right to the Mass of St. Pius V?
A mistreated right, we could say. Watched on sight with guns pointed. Kept only in view of its more or less gentle euthanasia, more or less imminent. But still a right.
3. The competent authority
4. The condition of the Priests
5. The coetus fidelium
At least until further provision.
Let’s deal with the shadows.
But the most important variable is the priests.
What kind of situation will we face in ten years?
Ultimately, it is up to Rome to decide.
Genoa, 17 July 2021, Guido Ferro Canale