Sunday, July 06, 2008

Idoneus per Cardinal Egan

The Latin Mass is receiving a lot of discussion in Catholic forums online. A piece titled "Summorum Pontificum" One Year Later (Part 1) addresses many of the issues raised, among them competence to say the Latin Mass, as below:

"For example, "Summorum Pontificum" says priests must be idoneus, "capable, competent" to say Mass with the older book. Idoneus, a technical term, refers to the minimum requirements for competence, not to expertise.

Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, a distinguished canonist in his day, correctly stated that idoneus, as far as the Latin language is concerned, means that the priest must be able to pronounce the words properly. That is the minimum."

Cardinal Egan is quoted in the media as stating that Father Sawicki was not fluent Lithuanian. This statement is, at times, listed among the reasons for closing Our Lady of Vilnius.

Is "idoneus" different for a priest saying Mass in a vernacular that is not his native tongue? Is fluency required? Why should that case be any different from the Latin Mass.

Please discuss. Inquiring minds want to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This all makes me wonder about the validity of Masses I attended in the past. I'm thinking back to the French-Canadian priest in the early 1960's whose Latin pronunciation was different than what we were used to. Or how about this? About ten years ago I was attending an early morning Mass and the priest held up the bread and said "this is the cup of...oh,excuse me..." He then took a moment to recollect and began the consecration again.
Idoneus... the priest needs to be able to pronounce the words properly. When I worked in child care we always told the children "use your words" when disagreements, scuffles and fights would arise. Maybe words failed Cardinal Egan on February 26, 2007 or maybe he just couldn't figure out how to pronounce them. Maybe he could have used words instead of sending a squadron of goons to padlock our church and destroy a community of believers.