To the editor:
The August article “Latin Mass seen as church legacy” by Nancy Frazier-O’Brien of Catholic News Service clearly leads the reader away from the true content and meaning of Summorum Pontificum by using misleading and ambiguous assertions and attempting to read between the lines. It distorts the content of Our Holy Father’s message to his Bishops if one takes the time to read it and compares it to what was actually written in the article.
Please allow a brief quote from Our Holy Father’s letter: “In conclusion, dear brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese.
“Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the motu proprio”.
I urge all Catholics to read Summorum Pontificum and decide for yourself. Through the reading you will better understand, in part, the love and concern our Holy Father has for Our Holy Mother the Church and its faithful. I’m also asking for fair and balanced reporting for this important subject which affects every Catholic.
Thomas R. Shanahan
EDITOR’S NOTE: The quotation cited above is from Pope Benedict XVI’s English-language cover letter to bishops, rather than the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum itself.