Friday, July 06, 2007

Why 7-7-07?
Just curious.

I’ve been wondering why the Pope chose Saturday, July 7th, to promulgate his motu propio acknowledging the place of the still-valid classical Latin Mass* in the Church’s liturgical and recognizing the fact it was never banned by the last ecumenical council ("the 1962 Missal...was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted." -from the Pope's explanatory letter today).

I believe it was back in May, we were honored to have the Very Reverend Berg, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, celebrate Mass at the catacombs, er, I mean mausoleum, where our bishop allows the classical Latin Mass. This was just prior to one of the rumored releases of the motu propio. The specific date fell on a Saturday. I asked Msgr. Berg if he thought the rumors had any validity. He admitted they were rumors, and said there was no knowing the mind of the Pope, but, he added that is was very rare for the Vatican to issue any documents on Saturday.

So, today’s release made me go, “Hmmmmm?”

I checked my missal and saw that July 7th was not the feast of any particular saint.

What’s up? A last minute promulgation before His Holiness left Rome on vacation to his summer quarters? No other days left? A slow news day? He shoots craps for fun?

Then I recalled a lecture a priest gave some years ago on numerology in the Bible, so I dug out my notes. I saw the number 7 was used for earthly completeness. For example, Christ created 7 sacraments because that’s all we’d need in this life. (In case you’re wondering, here are some others: 3 = stability; 12 = heavenly completeness; 30 = incomplete preparation; 40 = complete preparation.) Was His Holiness sending a hidden message on his thoughts about the classical Mass and earthly completeness?

Unlike Pope John Paul II the philosopher, Pope Benedict is a theologian. Would he have picked 7-7-07 for its symbolism? Or was it just happenstance?

I don't know, but I'm curious.

(*I’ve adopted this designation, rather than “traditional Latin Mass,” from some good reasons on Shawn Tribe’s “The New Liturgical Movement” blog. The Novus Ordo (“New Order”) is called the “modern Latin Mass.” Among other things, both Masses belong to the Church’s Latin Rite and both can be said fully in Latin.)

6 Comments:

Blogger Joseph said...

Why July 7?

From cathcon.blogspot.com(Christopher Gillibrand's blog), I learned that today is the Feast of Blessed Pope Benedict XI.

-Cajun Nick

12:01 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Good info. Thanks.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Petrus Radii said...

In the Traditional Roman Kalendar, 7. July is the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs. They are also Co-patrons of Europe---a point well-known to Pope Benedict XVI. So we may choose to see a two-fold symbolism in the date. One is a symbolic link with the apostolic Liturgies of the Eastern Churches. The other is a reminder of Pope Benedict's frequent calls to preserve the Catholic culture of Europe. In this case, he put deeds behind his words.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Petrus,
Good insight, especially ther part about preserving Christianity in Europe. Just today I saw the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Mehtodius in a different missal than the one I checked previously.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Fidei Defensor said...

Caveman, consider this...

July 7, 1456 - A retrial verdict acquits Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death.

Just as convicting Joan of Arc was a major blunder so was the way the Tridentine Mass was treated in the wake of the council. Likewise both mistkes took years to fix. It was probably coincidential, but I certainly see a paralel here.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Fidei Defensor said...

Oh and on a more humor based note...

July 7, 1585 - Peace of Nemours abolishes tolerance to Protestants in France.

2:23 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home