Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Application of the Motu Proprio: the report of an African bishop

Please read this interesting response to Summorum Pontificum from the African bishop Pascal N'KOUE (right). The source is the French blog Summorum Pontificum Observatus. Please excuse the less than perfect translation from the French. Would that we had more bishops of this ilk in our own country.

A correspondent sends me the diocesan Natitingou Life (No. 157), whose bishop is Mgr Pascal N'Koué. I have not had time to investigate whether this document has already been published on the Internet. It seemed interesting to engage readers interested in the OPS application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum . Bishop N'Koué Pascal is a young bishop since he was born March 29, 1959. He was ordained priest 26 July 1986 and was appointed bishop by Pope John Paul II, July 26, 1997. To better know him, you can refer to the appointment he had with the Catholic Bookworms Forum ( ICI ). Here is the report that he sent to Rome concerning the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in his diocese. I then publish the response of the commission Ecclesia Dei and the suggestions of Bishop Pascal N'Koué.


On September 14, 2007 motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" went into effect. Only one Roman rite in the Latin Church but with two forms: regular (rite of Pope Paul VI) and extraordinary (Rite of Blessed John XXIII, commonly called rite of St. Pius V, but date of Pope Saint Gregory the Great ). Below you can read our correspondence with Rome on these two forms coexist peacefully Natitingou and can be mutually enriching. This is an opportunity to thank from my heart all those who have enlightened us on this path by their faith, their experience and love of the Church.

Natitingou, June 15, 2010


It is with joy that, on solicitation of Apostolic Nuncio to Benin, I am sharing our experience concerning the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, "Summorum Pontificum".

At the outset I would like to say that the extraordinary form of Roman rite has been introduced in my diocese in October 2003, ie before the Motu Proprio. My belief that these two forms can coexist peacefully and learn from each other is beyond doubt and a long history. In my humble opinion, both forms have no problem. The conflict comes from our hearts sick and intoxicated or our ideologies from the narrowness of our minds and our courses are too static.

As you read in the account - delivered herewith, made by Father Denis The Pivain, pastor of St. Jean Baptiste, there were no waves in Natitingou, but still a little turbulence ... The priest n 'undertake nothing without consulting the bishop. This is one of its great merits. The unity of the Church requires. In fact, there is a remarkable sympathy and harmony among all the priests on this subject.

Personally, I have to admit that the celebration in the old form is an opportunity for my young and clergy throughout the diocese. It allows to make more of the altar (prayer at the foot of the altar), the sacred silence, the secret, multiple signs of the cross and genuflection and even the fact that we are all looking towards the Cross (ad position orientem). In short, the Tridentine rite is an opportunity to better understand and better appreciate the rite of Paul VI.

Several of my priests, without any pressure from me, started to spontaneously learn to celebrate the Mass of St. Pius V or more exactly the mass of Pope John XXIII. Obviously the more one emphasizes the "ars celebrandi" more positively influence both forms. When the items are internalized, the liturgy touches the faithful with its beauty and depth, and we do not need to quarrel about the mystery, the sacred, worship, the majesty of God and active participation. It goes without saying. In addition, the Roman Canon and gestures in the old liturgical rite are closer to our religion and African sensibility. I speak only for my diocese.

My wish is that one day every priest knows celebrate both. It is not impossible, especially if they are introduced in our seminars. But here in Natitingou, we can not apply the old rite simply ignoring the light of "Sacrosanctum Concilium". Everything is there. The extraordinary form can not ignore the Second Vatican Council, as the usual form can not ignore the ancient rite replenished. There is a balance to keep. The commission "Ecclesia Dei" seems to encourage us to continue in this direction (see Appendix 3).

I close by invoking the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary on all priests. It is God's love will save the world and not the rituals as such. Working to develop that passion for the Crucified who loved us and gave himself for us.

In hopes of answering any less to your desire, I assure you, Eminence, my faithful cooperation in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Bishop Pascal N'KOUE

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