Bishop of Rockford IL overrides Summorum Pontificum, forbids "ad orientem"
Following that talk, I write now to ask for your cooperation on several matters that have since been referred to me in connection with my comments last September:continue at Father Z
First, as I noted at that time, we are all aware of the on-going discussion surrounding the celebration of the Mass “ad orientem“. However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated “ad orientem” without my permission.
It seems to me that the bishop is, in this regard making a request, but he confuses the request by adding the word “permission”. This letter has no juridical form or force. It doesn’t make diocesan law.
Frankly, I don’t think a bishop can forbid celebration ad orientem. Priests can follow the rubrics of the Roman Missal. I don’t think that they can be forbidden from following the rubrics. Should they be prudent about how they implement it? Sure! However, it’s hardly a sign of confidence in the priests to forbid them to exercise a legitimate pastoral decision.
also at Rorate
Whether this is an ideological battle he is undertaking or this is a reaction to something in his diocese I do not know. If there is more to the story I'd be willing to post it. On the surface Bp. Malloy certainly looks misinformed at best and regardless of what caused it has clearly overstepped his authority on the matter of the Extraordinary Form by the letter of the law. However, I am suspicious if a priest had opted to change an existing Ordinary Form Mass slot to a EF Mass or the same with ad orientem. Cranky parishioners write angry letters while happy parishioners do not write happy letters to their bishop. I would hope it's at least the bishop trying to smooth things over with wealthy donors and he's not just out there head hunting. I'm not justifying it, but I think the question is important.
By the way, he's one of ours.... Msgr. Malloy, Milwaukee native and Lake Geneva priest, named Rockford Illinois bishop