05 August 2021, The Tablet

Chur diocese first to comment on new Mass regulations

 Chur diocese first to comment on new Mass regulations

Mass on the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter's, Rome.
Independent Photo Agency/Alamy

Bishop Joseph Bonnemain of Chur is the first Swiss bishop to comment on the Pope’s latest instructions concerning celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

As some of the faithful in his diocese were “anxious and confused” as to whether celebrations of the Old Rite would continue, he had published the regulations for the Diocese of Chur within days of the publication of Pope Francis’ motu proprio, Bishop Bonnemain told katholisch.de.

It was imperative that he as bishop should inform the faithful as quickly as possible on how he was going to regulate celebrations of the Old Mass according to the Pope’s wishes, he explained.

“Those concerned were not sure whether they could go on using the churches they were wont to use. I wanted to avoid such and other uncertainties”, he said.

Bishop Bonnemain was allowing the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), which is in communion with the Holy See, to continue to celebrate the Old Rite in the two parishes they had in his diocese. “The other priests will credibly have to explain to me personally why they want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. I share the Pope’s concern which he expresses in his motu proprio, namely, that neither the Second Vatican Council nor its ecclesiology must be called into question, and church unity in the diocese must not be endangered. These are questions that I will be going into thoroughly with each priest concerned.

“In his motu proprio, the Pope emphasises that there is one single Roman rite. We need to have a look and see if, behind the Old Mass, there is a basic conviction that rejects current church teaching. That is why I immediately acknowledged and welcomed Traditionis Custodes as soon as it was published,” he said.

There were those in his diocese who wanted everything to remain as it was in the past. They were convinced that taking a hard line promoted evangelisation. And then there were those who believed that the Church’s task was to lead people to Jesus Christ by “pick[ing] up people where they are”. There had been considerable tension between these two visions of the Church for decades now – both in the Diocese of Chur and in the world Church, he said.

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