Robert Mickens In Rome
THE HEAD of the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei commission has reprimanded the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, for setting “unduly restrictive” conditions on use of the Tridentine Mass, saying they were “in direct contradiction” to the wishes of Pope Benedict XVI. “Your ‘Archdiocesan Guidelines’ are simply not acceptable as they stand and I ask you to reconsider them,” said the Ecclesia Dei president, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, in a letter dated 6 March and seen by The Tablet this week. It said “guidelines allowing only a monthly Mass in a chapel of[the] Metropolitan Cathedral” were in violation of the norms established in the motu proprio, “Summorum Pontificum”, issued by the Pope in 2007 for the widespread use of the Tridentine Mass. Cardinal Castrillón said the papal decree was “part of the universal law of the Church” and could not be limited by the “particular law” of a diocesan bishop. The Archdiocese of Mani la ministers to more than 2.8 million Catholics.
“There is simply no legitimate reason why this [Tridentine] Mass cannot and should not be celebrated in any church or chapel of your archdiocese,” Cardinal Castrillón said in his letter to the Archbishop of Manila.
He insisted that Cardinal Rosales actively promote the implementation of the motu proprio by “helping priests who are desirous to learn how to celebrate” the old rite Mass, which he said only required that the priest be “reasonably competent in Latin”, and that there were faithful who wished to assist at its celebration.
The Archdiocese of Manila published the Tridentine Mass guidelines on its website last year. But they were quickly removed when supporters of the old rite protested to Rome.
Meanwhile, the priest who won provincial elections in 2007 to become governor of the region of Pampanga in the north of the Philippines has said he is considering running for president in next year’s general elections. Fr Eddie Panlilio, who was suspended from his priestly duties in 2007, said last week that if elected he would ensure that the current president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was prosecuted on corruption charges. GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Churches to be more socially active during the current economic and financial crisis by encouraging a sense of the common good instead of individual materialism, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.
“After the market excesses, we need to learn to think and act again in the interests of the whole community,” said Ms Merkel during a visit to Berlin’s Catholic Academy. “There is a reference to God in the German constitution which says politicians are not allpowerful. The Christian vision of the person is a defence against self-will in politics and ideologies offending human dignity.” The 54-year-old chancellor, whose father was a Lutheran pastor, said greater church involvement was needed at a time of “ever greater uncertainty about the foundations for our actions”.
■ The Italian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced it is setting up a 30-millioneuro (£27.8m) fund to help families without an income to pay their rent and mortgages. A national collection for the fund will be taken on Pentecost Sunday, 31 May.