Pope Benedict in Saturno hat

There have not been an official translation of the whole Motu Proprio yet. The second half is the official and the second is not – in this translation from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. (This according to their Swedish site www.kristkonung.se.)

The letter accompanying the Motu Proprio can be read here in an official translation: Letter to the bishops on the Motu Proprio Data from the Vatican.

Since there have been a lot of rumors on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Holy Father have made an accompanying letter explaining what the apostolic letter is and what it is not. In the letter the Holy father speaks of the two forms of celebrating the liturgy as the Forma ordinaria and Forma extraordinaria. He states that we should not speak of it as two rites: Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.

He states further that the form of the rite from 1962 never was juridically abandoned and the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 when John Paul the second issued his Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei.

He then speaks of that the creativity of the new form from 1970 sadly in some cases have led to deformations of the liturgy.

However he is very clear about the authority of the second Vatican council is as firm as ever. I come to think of the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis from March this year, where the importance of not letting the different forms of the rite divide, is stressed. It is important that when promoting the Tridentine mass, one must be cautious not to see the both as either or. Those who love and cherish the classical mass should not work against the new.

In the second half of the letter he further addresses this. By the similarity of the 1962 and the 1970 forms the understanding of the liturgy can only deepen and enrich each another.

There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.

The Holy Father

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