Traditionis Custodes 3§4: The Bishop’s Delegate

We continue our slow and careful look at Traditionis Custodies. Article 3 is divided into six parts which detail specific duties of the local bishop. Without ceding his responsibility, Pope Francis indicates that a priest be appointed as a delegate with two concerns: liturgy and pastoral care. Let’s read:

§4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful.

Can this appointment go to anyone? No. The delegate must be competent:

This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language  sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;

Those two personal qualities are telling: 

  • lively pastoral charity
  • a sense of ecclesial communion

The Holy Father uses the verb animate, implying full of the Holy Spirit. This would exclude, it seems to me, a dullard, or a person keeping time till retirement, or a person with a secret longing to be an airport bishop, or a person waiting for a last straw to be a schismatic.

Do you suppose TLM communities would make recommendations to their bishop for such a delegate? Or would that be too much in keeping with the Spirit of Vatican II?

The approved English translation 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Traditionis Custodes 3§4: The Bishop’s Delegate

  1. Liam says:

    Also in the Spirit of Vatican II would have been for Pope Francis to have sought consultation from bishops and others with expectation that the identity of the consultees and their feedback would be reasonably transparent (and for consultees to have done likewise within their ambit of consultation). It was a botched opportunity to practice what we preach before applying to others.

    • Yes, I think that is a good observation. I wonder if some of this was institutional protection: bishops with bad experiences can keep their input anonymous and their donors can target Rome instead. I think Pope Francis aspires to a more open Church, but I think there is a lot of momentum in favor of a tight-lipped clericalist bureaucracy.

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