A letter from Cardinal Hoyos recalls the "common law"

Source: FSSPX News


The establishment of the St. Jean-Marie Vianney Apostolic Administration in the diocese of Campos in Brazil has been hailed by its beneficiaries as a big step forward in the "combat for the Catholic Mass", which has been fought for more than 30 years. The passage of time allows us to see the consequences contained in a principle, for it brings its share of explanations, events or corrections.

Following a consultation of the Administrator with the Holy See regarding the service of possible places for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass outside of the Administration’s territorial limits, Cardinal Hoyos replied by a letter, which has been published (cf. Documents), that the establishment of such places of worship was subject to the approval of the local bishops. Moreover – and here lies the interesting and determining factor – "in order to receive this concession, these groups of faithful must formally declare their support and obedience to the Holy Father John Paul II, recognize the validity of Vatican Council II and the legitimacy of the liturgical rite approved by the Sovereign Pontiff Paul VI in 1970". We see here the conditions imposed by the letter Quattuor abhinc annos of 1984 – actually quoted by the Cardinal – thus submitting the priests of Campos to the "1984 indult" which they strongly criticized at the time.

Of course, the Administration’s territory remains immune from this submission and has its own statutes defined by the decree of 18th January 2002. But outside of these limits the common law reasserts itself, even for churches and chapels served by priests of the Administration, contrary to what has been said here and there. In emphasising these facts, we do not wish to launch another attack on Campos, but to note that the situation vis-à-vis the Mass has scarcely advanced in the corridors of Rome.