JUNE 2, 2016
Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona denies faithful their right to Latin Mass
Eugene Pinto, a lay man, wrote to the Bishop of Poona, Thomas Dabre, former Chairman of the CBCI’s Doctrinal Commission requesting him to allow a Latin Mass to be said in the diocese on a regular basis:
Subject: The Extraordinary form of the Mass
A few months ago, I had requested you to have the Latin Tridentine Mass be offered in Pune on a regular basis. Since I had posted this message on Facebook, you publicly agreed but when I called you to schedule the Mass, you told me that you would like to have the names of at least 50 people who would be attending. Given the fact that most Catholics in India are unfamiliar with the Tridentine Mass, of course it was very difficult for me to come up with the number of people you wanted.
This has not prevented me from attending the Latin Tridentine Mass in Mumbai where it is offered every week in the SSPX chapel in Malad and I can testify to the fullness of graces that are available in this form of the Mass. I have also taken people along with me to attend this mass and every one of them has agreed that the Liturgy is more reverent than the Novus Ordo Missae that is currently being offered in all the parishes.
The article http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/01/29/priests-view-latin-mass-vs-new-mass/ written by a priest confirms my view that the traditional form of the mass should be made available to the Laity on a wider basis.
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, issued by Pope Benedict XVI, allows for this mass to be offered without any restriction when requested by the faithful.
I would like to state that it was rather disingenuous of you to put a condition of me getting 50 people with their names in order for the Tridentine Mass to be offered in Pune. It would seem that the growth in holiness and the salvation of your flock is definitely not a priority to you. How then would you explain the following?
1. The intention of the Church is to offer the highest form of worship and praise to God and for the laity to be part of this. How come that barring feast days there is no Solemn High Masses being said on Sundays in the Parishes in the diocese? Is it really that difficult for the Mass for the parishioners to be a high mass which includes a solemn entrance procession and the use of incense?
2. Is it really that difficult for a priest to prepare a homily for Sunday for the mass that he offers? How come in the Cathedral, one designated priest will give the homilies for ALL the masses on Sunday. Here is one of the quotes from a homily that I have heard “I cannot believe that a loving God will send ANYONE to hell”. Can this be consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church, which also proclaims that God is just and the result of his justice is that unrepentant sinners, do go to hell? Why is it so rare to hear a sermon being preached on the four Last things DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HEAVEN and HELL?
3. One of the conditions for a valid Catholic Mass is
4.2 Condition Two – Intent of the Priest
The priest must have the intent of doing what the Church does, that being the intent to make Jesus physically present via the miracle of transubstantiation at the consecration. The Council of Trent – a dogmatic council in response to the Protestant heresy – declared against the Protestant view which denies the necessity of the intention of the minister. St. Thomas Aquinas also covers this requirement in Summa Theologica (Third Part, Question 64, Articles 8, 9, 10).
Council of Trent, Seventh Session, March 3, 1547; Canon 11: “If anyone says that in ministers, when they effect and
confer the sacraments, there is not required at least the intention of doing what the Church does, [Eugene IV in the decr. cited.] let him be anathema.”
While the intent of the priest may be difficult to ascertain with some degree of certainty, I would like to point to the demeanor of the priest while offering the Mass. There are some priests who routinely do not bow before the tabernacle when taking out the Ciborium with the consecrated hosts. As Catholics we believe that Jesus is present Body, Soul and Divinity in the Consecrated Hosts. If a priest were to do the absolute minimum with regard to reverence to the consecrated species, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say then he wouldn’t also believe that by the words he speaks at the consecration results in the host being transubstantiated into the Body of Christ.
I am therefore requesting you to have the Latin Tridentine Mass offered for the faithful on a regular basis in Pune. We could have the mass offered at either St. Xavier’ Church, or Immaculate Conception Church where altar rails are still available. Kindly have this information be widely disseminated so that more of the faithful can participate in this.
As a follow-up to his futile letter to the Bishop of Poona, Thomas Dabre, Eugene Pinto, wrote to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) as well as to the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum:
To: Cardinal Oswald Gracias email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Copy of Letter which I have sent to Bishop Dabre Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 16:25:31 +0530
It has been 10 days since I last wrote to Bishop Dabre about getting the Latin Tridentine mass started in Pune. (Copy follows). There exists latent interest in the Mass gauged from the reactions of the people I have taken for the same in Mumbai.
Subject: Letter sent to Bishop Thomas Dabre Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 16:30:31 +0530
I am forwarding a copy of the letter I had sent to Bishop Thomas Dabre, for further action by you, since I have not received a response in 10 day.
All letters (see also the reminder below) to the two Cardinals have gone unanswered.
To: Thomas Dabre <email@example.com>, Pune Diocese Poona firstname.lastname@example.org, Baselios Cleemis <email@example.com>, Baselios Cleemis <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Oswald Gracias <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 07:41:20 +0530
Subject: Fwd: The Extraordinary form of the Mass
I had forwarded you a letter addressed to Rev. Bishop Dabre, Bishop of Pune on May 13th* in the hopes that I would elicit a response from you in the grave matters that I had put forth. To my surprise, you have not chosen to respond. To refresh your memory I quote from my email… *The date should read as May 11th (see the two emails above) as informed by Eugene Pinto
By virtue of your position, you are required to defend the doctrine of the church and state explicitly, why the claim that I have made above is not true. However, by not responding to the email which I sent you, you have tacitly agreed to the matter that some/most of the masses being said are invalid. Hence there are tabernacles which no longer contain “The Body of Christ”. It has always been the intention of the Catholic Church to provide the “Body of Christ” to the faithful to fulfil the words of Jesus in John 6: 53-54  Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
As I stated in my earlier email, one of the ways this can be rectified is by offering the Latin Tridentine Mass on a wider basis. There are other issues that also need to be addressed, all of which I would rather discuss in person.
I expect a response to this email within 3 days failing which, I will publish this together with the previous missive on the subject on the internet. I would rather not see that happen, but I will do what I must in the interest of the souls that would be otherwise lost.
Awaiting your response
However, after Eugene Pinto included the Cardinals in the above follow-up letter of May 20, Bishop Dabre responded:
On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 1:30 PM, Pune Diocese Poona <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Eugene Pinto,
Thank you for the email regarding the intention of the Celebrant. I agree with you that he should intend to do what the Church intends with regard to the consecration.
However, I don’t think it is right on your part to be so judgemental about the validity or invalidity of the Mass. If you have any difficulty, please contact the priest concerned. Dialogue always helps to bring about understanding and remove misunderstanding.
God bless you
Bishop Thomas Dabre
Bishop of Poona
This was Eugene Pinto’s reply to Bishop Dabre:
To: Pune Diocese Poona <email@example.com>, Baselios Cleemis <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Baselios Cleemis <email@example.com>, Oswald Gracias <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 14:03:57 +0530 Subject: Re: The Extraordinary form of the Mass
Do you really think you are giving me an answer to my question? Which priest will not give me the answer he is bound to give… Yet his actions by not showing reverence to the sacred species denies that. This is something that happens more commonly that you would imagine. I know the difference when I walk into a church where the presence of Christ is undeniable and where the “Tabernacle is empty”.
As my Bishop, it is my duty to address this to you and it is your duty to inform the priests. Are you abdicating your responsibility to your flock by not correcting the priests who are under your charge? When they took they vows, one of them was obedience to the Bishop. They didn’t take a vow of obedience to me and therefore I have no right to correct them. That right is yours and yours alone.
As Bishop you also have as your prime duty to defend the doctrine and faith of your Church. Since you are telling me to talk to the priests, you are unwilling to address laxity on the part of the priests who are failing in their duty to the flock of whom you are the shepherd.
It is becoming painfully obvious, that you would like to maintain the status quo, something that I am finding hard to swallow.
I have said enough. May God shepherd the flock he has called to himself as mentioned in Ezekiel 34
Note that Bishop Thomas Dabre completely evades any discussion on the matter of the Latin Mass!
He wanted from Eugene Pinto a list of 50 potential attendees; it is not licit for him to demand that.
I am reliably informed that if a list is provided by the faithful, other obstacles and demands are put up.
As a matter of fact, except the good Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore who has officially approved a Sunday Latin Mass by the SSPX at a notified chapel, all the Indian Bishops appear to be hostile to a revival of the Tridentine Latin Rite Mass (TLRM).
I heard from very reliable sources that a senior priest of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) met the Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao a few months ago seeking his permission for his official approval of the TLRM in Goa where presently they are being said by visiting SSPX priests at private centres. The Archbishop refused to give his permission even though that is not the position of Rome and all the recent Popes.
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Categories: Liturgical Abuses