Blogger went down for twenty four hours yesterday, and my computer was offline all morning, all during a time of peak news!
So here is a quick catch-up guide on where to find the goodies!
1. Instruction on Summorum Pontificum - Universae Ecclesiae
The long awaited Instruction clarifying access to the Extraordinary Form aka Traditional Latin aka Tridentine Mass is finally out, and on the whole seems to be helpful.
It makes it clear that 'Extraordinary' doesn't mean rare or to be discouraged; that the laity really do have a right to the EF Mass; and that things like communion in the hand cannot be demanded at EF Masses.
It demolishes some of the attempts to put obstacles in the way of the celebration of the EF, including making it easier to offer during the Triduum, and clarifies the power of the Ecclesia Dei Commission to arbitrate in disputed cases.
And those looking to integrate the new saints of the calendar and new prefaces have the promise of forthcoming guidance on how to do this.
The negatives are the clarification that diocesan clergy cannot be ordained according to the old rite, and that teaching the EF in seminaries is not absolutely compulsory, but dependent on 'pastoral need'.
There are a multitude of posts exploring its implications up - Fr Finigan has a great catch-up post with links to all the best commentaries (including half a dozen or so odd by Fr Z, who made the most of his virtual monopoly in the blogosphere yesterday!).
2. Australian Bishops Conference on Bishop Morris
It took them seven days to ponder it all and negotiate some agreed words, but they did finally manage it!
The document mentions the upcoming ad limina visit to Rome scheduled for October. Not much time for certain dioceses to clean up their acts!
3. Fish on Friday back on in the UK!
While our bishops were no doubt wallowing in liberal angst courtesy of some of their own members and the ever consistent Catholic Religious Australia, the UK bishops were actually making some hard decisions to restore orthopraxis, starting with re-legislating for abstinence from meat on Fridays!
Here is the relevant resolution from their May meeting:
By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.
Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.
The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.
Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat. Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom. Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up his very life for our salvation.
Can we have that too please?