Horror of horrors! Why is JesCom sponsoring a suspense-thriller?

*Horror of horrors! Why is JesCom sponsoring a suspense-thriller? *

by Dit Sablan

Yes, Jesuit Communications is sponsoring *The Rite*, Warner Brothers’
newest film on exorcism which stars Academy Award winner Anthony
Hopkins. But the film is not your run-of-the-mill exorcist B-movie. It
is based on journalist Matt Baglio’s book, “*The Rite: The Making of a
Modern Exorcist,”* which tells the real life story of Father Gary Thomas
and how he trained and became the official exorcist of San Jose,
California.  In a recent interview with /Zenit News Agency/, Father
Thomas mentions that he and Baglio were not only consulted in the
production of the film but were physically present in the shooting as
well — an assurance of the film’s orthodoxy.

But why should *The Rite* be a relevant film for us?

First, although there are admittedly very few official exorcists around,
the rite of exorcism continues to be a ministry in the Church, following
Jesus Christ who expelled demons from people during his time. There was
a time when, before ordination, would-be priests were ordained to the
minor order of exorcism. And although this practice is no longer
observed in most seminaries, perhaps due to the advent of the scientific
age, the Church nonetheless continues the ministry of exorcism, even as
it maintains its teaching on the existence of the Devil!

Second, in the /Zenit/ interview, Father Thomas reveals a sense of
urgency within the Church as regards this sensitive matter. He cites for
example that months before John Paul II died in 2005, the Pope requested
that each diocese in the Church be equipped with a trained exorcist.
Likewise, recently, the US Bishops met in Baltimore over this issue.
Significantly, Father Thomas as the bishops’ resource person, pointed
out that the youth today are at risk of demonic influences and even
possession, because of their interest in the occult, now widely known as
the new age phenomenon. (Parents beware!)

Finally, the movie is relevant because as Father Thomas says, more than
a suspense-thriller, *The Rite* is a movie about our Faith. Indeed it
deals with our unending daily struggle to win over our demons and our
unending fight against the forces of evil in this world. Surprisingly,
this horror movie may yet inspire us towards greater faith!

/The Advanced Screening of *The Rite* is on Friday, 28 January 2011,
7pm, SM Megamall, Cinema 9. Father Joseph Syquia, official exorcist of
the Archdiocese of Manila will start the event with a brief talk.
Tickets are sold at P500.  Available at the following Tanging Yaman
Outlets: 1. Sonolux Building, Seminary Drive, Ateneo de Manila
University,   2.  Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University,
and  3.  5th Floor, SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City.

/For more information, call 426-5971 local 111 – 113.


National Meeting of Filipino Diocesan Directors of Liturgy: liturgical inculturation and women lay ministers


September 13-16, 2010


We, the delegates to the 25th National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL), raise our hearts and voices in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, the Leitourgos of divine worship. For twenty-five years, NMDDL has been a consistent instrument of the continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors of liturgy. It has created closer ties among the directors and has promoted better coordination between the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and the diocesan commissions in the implementation of the liturgical reform of Vatican II.

As we look back with gratitude at what NMDDL has accomplished, we look forward to what remains to be done so that the liturgy will become more vibrantly the source and summit of the Church’s life in the Philippines. Hence, we recommend attention in the future meetings to topics like the following:

  1. The Use of the Vernacular. While we respect the option to use Latin and celebrate the Tridentine liturgy, we uphold the use of the vernacular in our parishes and communities and recommend translations that faithfully reflect both the spiritual doctrine of the texts and the linguistic patterns of our vernacular languages.
  2. Spirituality of Liturgy. Active participation is one of the many blessings Vatican II has bestowed on our parishes and communities. We wish to remind ourselves, however, that active participation should lead to deeper spiritual encounter with Christ and the Church. Hence our liturgical celebrations should foster the necessary environment of prayer and awe in the presence of the divine mysteries, excluding those expressions that trivialize the sacred celebration.
  3. Liturgical Inculturation. The interest in recent times to revive the Tridentine Liturgy should not draw the attention, especially of the Church leaders, from the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation. We are of the persuasion that liturgical renewal, as envisioned by the Constitution on Liturgy of Vatican II, entails liturgical inculturation and that our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.
  4. Liturgical Studies. Sound tradition and legitimate progress are key phrases that express the program of liturgical reform. It is consequently necessary to study the history and theology of the liturgy, be familiar with culture, and be imbued with liturgical spirituality and pastoral zeal for the Church. We, therefore, recommend that those involved in liturgy, particularly the clergy, should be sent by their bishops or superiors to enroll in academic institutions that specialize in liturgical studies.
  5. Lay Ministers. Our parishes and communities are blessed with numerous and worthy lay liturgical ministers. However, some dioceses in the Philippines still reserve to male persons ministries like serving at the altar and leading Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest. We believe that we should encourage the ministry of women where it is allowed by universal law.
  1. Liturgy Newsletter. Part of continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors and their collaborators is liturgical information. We request the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy to publish and disseminate regularly through newsletter, in print or by electronic media, recent liturgical norms, guidelines, and other pertinent information on the liturgy.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of NMDDL, we recall the visionary initiative of Archbishop Jesus Dosado who, together with Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, and Fr. James Meehan, SJ, established and promoted the annual meeting. We are in their debt. Likewise,  we remember with gratitude the dioceses that have generously hosted NMDDL and the speakers that shared their liturgical expertise with us. Lastly, we thank His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of the Archdiocese of Manila for hosting NMDDL at this significant year of its existence.

That in all things God may be glorified!


Here are my comments:

  1. Filipinos are Latin-Rite Catholics and they have heard Latin mass for three centuries.  Latin, therefore,  is a legitimate part of the Filipino culture.  So this language must be equally promoted at least together with other languages.
  2. I like the statement “liturgical celebrations should foster the necessary environment of prayer and awe in the presence of the divine mysteries, excluding those expressions that trivialize the sacred celebration.”
  3. I think the best place for inculturation is not in the mass but in the celebrations outside the mass: Pasyon, salubong, procession, novenas, etc.  Our ancestors have done this kind of inculturation before.
  4. Instead of the phrases “sound tradition” and “legitimate progress”, I would prefer the battle cry of the religious clergy who were assigned here in the 16th century: “Let there be no innovations!”  We preserve the Roman liturgy (1962) and send the clergy to schools where the Roman liturgy is studied in fidelity to Catholic tradition in order to progress in their understanding of the liturgy–a liturgy handed down to us to preserve and cherish and not a liturgy that we can mold according to our image and likeness as Filipinos.
  5. Lay ministers and altar servers should be reserved to men.  Once we allow women to distribute the Body of Christ, we would be conditioning their minds that years from now they would also become priests who will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass–which will never happen.

A conversation with Dr. Tess Perez: There are ghosts at the Manila Observatory

Yesterday, Dr. Tess Perez and I met at the Manila Observatory’s lobby.  Dr. Perez is with the Environmental Science Deparment which holds office at the MO’s basement.  We both talked in Ilonggo: she is from Iloilo; I am from Bacolod.

“Hi, Ma’m Tess,” I greeted her.  “You are still doing some research?”

“Yes,” she said. “I came here to check our set-up.  We are extracting oil from algae.”

“Really?” I asked.  “Does the algae die when you extract oil from them?”

“Yes, of course,” she said.

Her cellphone rang.  She tried not to answer it, but I asked her to answer it.

We were sitting on lobby benches in front of the porter’s cell.  She was sitting beside the door; I sat on the other bench perpendicular to hers.  Through the open door I can see MO’s garage, the trees with shrikes, the carless road, and the silent football field.  Ateneo is empty this Christmas.  It’s a ghost town.

“You know, Pope,” she said after closing her phone.  “My student and I were having an experiment December 31 of last year.  We were trying to monitor the ambient temperature.  Our set up is a flask with distilled water.  The flask is covered with a rubber stopper and the thermometer is inserted through it.  When we came back the next morning, the rubber stopper is gone and the thermometer was broken on the floor.  I cleaned up the Mercury spill.”

“How can rubber stopper pop?” she asked.

“A gas must have accumulated in the flask,” I said.

“I know,” she said.  “But I checked its properties: tasteless, odorless.  I know if it is another chemical.  I asked the staff if it is really distilled water that he gave.  He said yes.”

“This thing is giving me the creeps.  There are already many unexplained happenings here at the Observatory.  I have heard many stories from the staffs and the guards.  There was one time that we placed a book in front of us.  We are sure that it was in front of us.  And the next thing that we knew it was already on the shelf.  Are these the souls of Jesuit priests?  I must talk to Toni about this.”

“There are only two possibilities,” I replied.  “Fr. Jocis Syquia, an Exorcist of the Diocese of Manila, said that these may be either souls of the dead or demons.  If they are souls, they will not harm you; then they only need prayers and mass.  If they are demons, they will really harass and harm you.”

“So what do we do?” she asked.

“Maybe it is time to call an official ghostbuster, an exorcist,” I said.  “Fr. Syquia has a team.  Some of those in his team can sense spirits.”

“Maybe we really need to have the Observatory blessed.” she said.

“Blessing is not enough,” I said.  “There is a rite for exorcism of places.  Exorcised salt must be placed on the corners of the rooms.”

“I will not be surprised if there are ghosts or demons in the Observatory.” I said to her.  “The neighboring building is the Mass Communications Building.  I heard that a group of Spirit Questors opened a portal there.  Once a portal is opened, through it spirits come and go.”

This is only my theory.  A year ago, a Mass Comm teacher told me about some ghost stories in the Mass Comm building.  She mentioned something about a portal.  About three years ago, I also met a youth asking me one night where the Spirit Questors are.  I was walking near the Ateneo Blue Eagle gym then.  My guess is that it is the Spirit Questors who opened the portal.  According to Fr. Syquia, occult activities like trying to communicate with spirits leaves a mark on the place, which attracts demons.

A student came out of the Observatory’s basement and Dr. Tess called out to her.  Dr. Tess greeted each other a Happy New Year and we parted.  I went back to the Ionosphere building.  Some staff said there are ghosts, too, at the Ionosphere building, but I haven’t experienced any manifestations, even if I usually leave 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.  My guardian angel is taking care of me.

Archdiocese of Manila: Plenary Indulgence for Visita Iglesia in the Year of the Priests

MANILA, Oct. 8, 2009—Plenary indulgence can be granted to the faithful who visit some churches in the Archdiocese of Manila in observance of the Year for Priests.

The measure was made by the archdiocese’s chancery with a decree dated September 25, 2009.

In accordance with the decree, the faithful can receive the plenary indulgence when they make a devotional pilgrimage to one of the designated churches until June 19, 2010.

Still, when the faithful make the pilgrimage, they have to fulfill ordinary conditions for the plenary indulgence which include Sacrament of Penitence, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for Pope’s intentions.

Additionally, a partial indulgence will be offered to the faithful each time they pray five “Our Father,” “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be,” or any other duly approved prayer “in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life.”

The designated churches in the Archdiocese of Manila are: National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in San Antonio village and Saint John Mary Vianney Parish Church in Cembo, both in Makati City.

“We encourage the faithful to avail of these spiritual benefits of the holy year. It is also a good opportunity to hold catechesis on the priesthood, indulgences and Saint John Mary Vianney,” said Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., chancellor.

He said the two mentioned churches will gladly welcome pilgrims and delegations, especially those coming from the parishes of the archdiocese.

“Let us continue to pray for our priests and for more vocations to the priesthood. May this year be an occasion for spiritual renewal in our respective communities,” Fr. Sescon said.

The Vatican last May also announced that during the Year for Priests, which runs June 19, 2009-June 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI will grant plenary indulgences to priests and faithful. (CBCPNews)

The Liturgical Year and Inculturation: 13th Asian Liturgy Forum

13th A s I a n L i t u r g y F o r u m (ALF)
South-East Asian Region,
September 16-20, 2009
Bahay Pari, San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex, Edsa, Makati City

We, the delegates to the 13th Asian Liturgy Forum of South-East Asia, met from September 16-19, 2009 to discuss the timely and urgent topic of Liturgical Year and Inculturation. The meeting was held in Bahay-Pari of San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex, Makati City, Philippines, under the auspices of His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila to whom we express profound gratitude. The delegates to the meeting came from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. We are now pleased to share the result of our three-day meeting.

  1. The history of the liturgical year shows that the calendar of feasts has been constantly adjusting itself to political, cultural, and religious environment of local Churches. This should serve as a guiding principle in our work of inculturating the liturgical year.
  2. We note that inculturation normally takes place within the framework of approved liturgical books, whereby the substantial unity of the Roman Rite is preserved. Hence, the inculturation of the liturgical calendar does not result in a totally new calendar that is an alternative to the typical edition of the Roman Rite.
  3. However, we acknowledge that inculturation might not always be sufficient to address certain local needs. We would not preclude the creation of particular liturgical calendars while retaining the register of feasts of the Roman Rite.
  4. Roman traditional liturgical symbols may need to be adjusted in accord with the seasons of the year in the local Church. This would be applicable, for example, to liturgical feasts like Christmas and Easter whose original symbols do not correspond to existing seasons of the year in a particular Church.
  5. Inspired by liturgical history, we recognize the role of local cultural and social traditions in the institution of some liturgical feasts like the Chair of St. Peter in Rome, which originated in the ancestral feast of ancient Rome called parentalia. In accord with liturgical norms, local Churches could institute feasts derived from their traditional and other established practices.
  6. Likewise, the cycle of human work has shaped some liturgical celebrations like Rogation and Ember days. We believe that in the industrial world marked by the rhythm of work and rest, production and consumption, and strikes and negotiations, the Church should similarly establish pertinent liturgical feasts.
  7. In regions where popular pious exercises abound and continue to be meaningful to the faithful the liturgical calendar can be enriched by the integration of popular religious practices with the liturgical feasts.
  8. Sometimes political situations have left their mark on the liturgical calendar as witnessed by the institution of the feasts of Christ the King and St. Joseph the Worker. Local Churches may propose similar feasts to accompany the faithful across political systems.

In conclusion, given that time is relative, that situations are provisional, and that culture and traditions are in constant evolution, the Church should continue to revise, reinvent, and create liturgical feasts that meet the actual needs of the faithful.

That in all things God may be glorified.

Source: Archdiocese of Manila website

NoteMonk’s Hobbit is not happy with these liturgical developments.

Archdiocese of Manila: Pastoral letter on Sunday celebration of the Eucharist

Last June 14, 2009, on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, issued a pastoral letter on the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist entitled, “Without Sunday we cannot live.” The full letter is 36 pages long (see pdf), divided into three parts.   I shall provide excerpts of the bullet points in the document, for they address many familiar liturgical issues (and problems) in the celebration of the New Mass in the Philippines:

I.  The Liturgical Assembly: “The Church: Assembly of the People of God”

Priest celebrant:

  • The presider at Mass should not appropriate the functions that the liturgical norms assign to lesser ministers, except in case of necessity.
  • The homily belongs to the office of the presiding priest.
  • When the presider invites the assembly to prayer with the words, “Let us pray,” he leads the assembly to some moments of silence in which they place themselves in God’s presence and make their own petitions.
  • Proper vestments should at all times be worn in keeping with the liturgical norms.


  • Lectors, especially those assigned for Sunday celebrations, are to come together during the week to study the Sunday readings
  • They need to prepare and familiarize themselves with the biblical
    text before they proclaim it to the assembly.
  • When there is no deacon, a reader may carry the Book of the Gospels in front of the presiding priest in the entrance procession and lay it on the center of the altar. When there is no deacon, the reader announces the
    intentions of the General intercessions from the


  • The choir is at all times a part of the assembly. It should not replace the assembly or dominate the assembly in songs that rightfully belong to them.
  • The music director, working collaboratively with other ministers, has a particular responsibility to help select musical settings that allow the worthy celebration of the liturgy, respecting the different nature
    of the texts and actions of the liturgy, the feast, and the liturgical seasons.
  • We strongly recommend that the members of the choir avail themselves of the formation programs offered by the Archdiocesan Music Ministry and the Institute of Music in the Liturgy.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

  • We feel the need to commission other extraordinary ministers whose principal task is to bring Holy Communion to the sick and the home-bound.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should regard their ministry as essentially related to all the other ministries in the liturgical celebration.
  • There is a need to intensify parochial formation programs that will supplement the annual formation program given by the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission, so that the extraordinary ministers of Holy
    Communion will be continually formed both liturgically and spiritually for the exercise of their ministry.

Altar servers:

  • It is a proven fact that many ordained ministers developed their vocation to the priesthood because of their membership in this ministry when they were young. We therefore wish to continue the practice of reserving this ministry to young boys.
  • Programs that will suit their age need to be designed by pastors and those that are in charge of them….The young altar servers should
    be diligently guided and formed by competent and God-fearing persons.

Greeters and Collectors:

  • [Greeters] should remember that they exhibit the image of a welcoming and open Church.
  • Greeters may assist with the collection and with the offering of the gifts.

Liturgy Coordinator:

  • The person to be appointed to as liturgy coordinator should have received formation through the liturgy programs of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission intended for this position.
  • The liturgy coordinator should foster and promote team work and coordination among the liturgical ministers.

II.  The Sunday Eucharistic Celebration

Liturgy of the Word:

  • The announcement of Mass intentions either at the beginning or at any part of the Mass has been discouraged.  We reiterate this policy …. so as not to perpetuate the misunderstanding among our people that they
    pay for the Mass.
  • The readings are to be proclaimed from the ambo.
  • It is appropriate that a period of silence be observed after the readings and the Gospel proclamation.
  • The high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation
    of the Gospel. The liturgy expresses this through solemn and special gestures of reverence. Particularly on Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, the use of the Book of the Gospel is highly recommended.
  • It is preferable that the responsorial psalm be sung.  The singing of psalms may be done in various ways. The usual form is responsorial: the psalmist or cantor sings the verses and the whole assembly takes
    up the response. In direct form, which is also permitted, there is no intervening response and the cantor, or the whole assembly together, sings the verses consecutively.
  • In the homily, firmly based on the mysteries of salvation, the mysteries of the faith and the guiding principles of Christian life are expounded from the Scriptures that have been proclaimed, and as the
    need arises, also from the other texts and rites of the liturgy.
  • The minister for the intentions of the prayers of the faithful is the deacon or, in his absence, the lector.
  • The place where this is announced is the ambo.

Liturgy of the Eucharist:

  • “Pondo ng Pinoy” collections can be a regular element in this liturgical act (procession with the gifts), since it can concretely express the gift of self by the faithful in union with Christ’s offering of himself to the Father. We have designated the last Sunday of every month for this
  • On the occasions of installation of parish priests, birthdays or anniversaries, and the like, it is discouraged that personal gifts for the priests be brought in procession. These personal gifts should be given to the priests during the reception party.
  • We reiterate the instruction given in the past that the use of holy water to bless persons who brought the Eucharistic gifts is not in keeping with liturgical norms and therefore should not be done.
  • The collection of money and other gifts are deposited in a suitable place but away from the Eucharistic table.

“He said the blessing”:

  • The great importance of the assembly’s response and acclamation can be difficult to bring out in the short word Amen. This should be sung or at least spoken loudly both at Sunday and weekday celebrations. Musical settings that moderately prolong the Amen or repeat it, though not excessively, can help the assembly respond more adequately to the prayer.
  • Before the breaking of the bread, the entire assembly prays …. the prayer Our Lord taught us…. We recommend that each parish should choose one musical setting to be used in all Sunday Masses so as to help the assembly participate fully and devoutly in singing it.
  • The proper gesture for the Lord’s Prayer is raised hands.
  • The breaking of the bread is done with dignity and deliberation by the priest celebrant, if necessary with the help of a deacon or a concelebrant.  It should never be done during the words of consecration.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who will assist at Communion should take their place in the sanctuary after the exchange of peace.

“He gave it to them”:

  • The faithful are not ordinarily to be given Communion from the tabernacle. Serious effort should be made to observe this norm as a regular practice in our parishes rather than as the exception.
  • Signs of unjust discrimination or social distinction  among persons at the Lord’s Table are to be avoided. When there is obvious intent of profanation, the priest and ministers should gently refuse to give
    Communion, avoiding the attention of the public.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion receive communion from the priest celebrant and receive the vessel of Communion from him.
  • The manner of receiving communion, whether by hand or in the mouth, is the prerogative of the communicant.
  • The purification of vessels after communion should be done at the side table and not on the altar.
  • Announcements should not interrupt the period of silence after communion. Novenas and other devotions and the collections should not be done during this time.
  • Announcements are done after the post Communion Prayer.

The part three on “Our Sunday Eucharist and Mission” does not concern liturgical norms.

Episcopal Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines: Clarification of the Archdiocese of Manila on Summorum Pontificum and the Tridentine Mass

Episcopal Commission on Liturgy
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines


Pope Benedict XVI published the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007 with effectivity on September 14, 2007. The Episcopal Commission on Liturgy received several requests to clarify certain issues regarding its contents and implementation.

1. What is the aim of the Apostolic Letter?

The Apostolic Letter was published to seek “interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church”, that is, with those who still adhere to the Missal of Pius V. It is also a reaction to what is perceived as “abuses” in the celebration of the Mass after Vatican II.

2. Are there now two rites of the Roman Missal?

Summorum Pontificum distinguishes two forms of celebrating the one and the same Roman Rite, namely, “forma ordinaria” and “forma extraordinaria”. The ordinary form is the 1970 Missal of Pope Paul VI revised by authority of Vatican II. The extraordinary form is the Tridentine Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

3. What would be an implication of the “forma extraordinaria” of the Roman Missal?

The hermeneutics of continuity means that the 1970 Missal is a Vatican II revision of the Tridentine, while the hermeneutics of legitimate progress could justify the inclusion of inculturated liturgies as other extraordinary forms of the same Roman Rite.

4. What are some of the important conditions for celebrating according to the 1962 Missal?

Those who wish to celebrate it should possess “a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language”. Furthermore, the Missal to be used should be the 1962 edition. It is important to remember that the 1962 Missal requires the use of the Latin language (except for the readings and the homily), particular liturgical furnishings, vestments, books, and liturgical calendar. Lastly, in order to be in full communion with the Church, priests who celebrate according to the 1962 Missal must, as a matter of principle, accept the validity of the 1970 Missal.

5. What other liturgical rites are included in the permission?

Besides the 1962 Roman Missal, permission is granted to use the other Tridentine Rituals of baptism, confirmation, marriage, penance, anointing of the sick, funerals, and the Roman Breviary. The Apostolic Letter excludes the Easter Triduum and is silent about holy orders.

6. How about the seminaries?

Summorum Pontificum does not directly address the question of celebrating the Tridentine Missal in seminaries.

7. What is the responsibility of parish priests?

In parishes, where a stable group of the faithful adheres to the 1962 Missal, the parish priest should willingly accept their request. Such Mass maybe celebrated on weekdays, and once on Sundays and feast days. The Ordinary shall determine what a “stable group” consists of.

8. What is the responsibility of bishops?

If a parish priest fails to satisfy the request for Tridentine Mass, the faithful that request it should inform the Ordinary. If he himself cannot satisfy the request, he should refer the matter to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Furthermore the Ordinary may establish a personal parish where the Tridentine rituals may be used, or he may appoint a chaplain for such group of faithful.

9. What happens to active participation?

While the liturgical reform of the Vatican II aims principally to promote active participation, the Tridentine Missal encourages prayerful meditation during the Eucharistic celebration.

10. What happens to the 1970 Missal of Paul VI?

It is useful to note that the Vatican II Missal of Paul VI can always be celebrated in Latin and in Gregorian chant.

Summorum Pontificum gives the assurance that the Missal of Paul VI will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Eucharistic liturgy, given the actual pastoral circumstances of local Churches and the need for more adequate liturgical formation and knowledge of Latin among the faithful.


It is our fervent hope that the implementation of Summorum Pontificum will not, as Pope Benedict XVI desires, divide the heart of the Church, but rather foster mutual respect and understanding within the one Church of Jesus Christ. Let pastors be mindful that the ordinary form of the Holy Eucharist for the Church today is contained in the Missal of Paul VI whether this is celebrated in Latin or in the vernacular. As one Church, may we be united in one faith through a diversity of liturgical forms.

That in all things God may be glorified!
Source: Archdiocese of Manila

Read comments of Fr. Zuhlsdorf of the What Does the Prayer Really Say here.

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce: Comment on the Guidelines Laid Down by the Archbishop of Manila With Regard to the Extraordinary Form of Mass

There is so much in error with these guidelines that even though they mention the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, it is clear that the person who drafted the guidelines cannot possibly have read the Motu Proprio. The writer seems unaware that the previous rigidly-controlled state that existed under the indults of 1988 (Ecclesia Dei adflicta) and 1984 (Quattuor abhinc annos) ended abruptly at midnight on 13th September 2007. Under these indults, people and priests had to obtain permission from their local Ordinary before any celebrations of Mass using the Missal of 1962 could take place. Under Summorum Pontificum, which took effect from midnight on 13th September (i.e. from 14th September 2007), the permission to celebrate Mass according to the Missal of 1962 has been granted by the Supreme Legislator, the Pope, to “each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular,” to “use the Roman Missal published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962,…and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations……..the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.” [Summ. Pont. Art 2]. The fact that one does not need the permission of the local ordinary to celebrate or attend Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, does not, in itself, derogate from the right of bishops to regulate liturgical matters in their sees. No doubt the Supreme Pontiff took that right into account when he assumed that no Catholic bishop would dissent from the superseding right of the Successor of Peter to regulate the liturgy for the universal Church.

Therefore, not only has any priest of the Latin rite the freedom to celebrate Mass on any day of the year (excluding the Easter Triduum but NOT excluding Sundays), but the Motu Proprio removes a need to obtain permission from anyone – either from the Holy See or his local bishop [Summ. Pont. Art.2].

To comment specifically on the detail of the guidelines:

  1. Despite what is said in the opening statement these guidelines are NOT in accordance with the norms laid down by the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI.
  2. In Summorum Pontificum, the Supreme Pontiff dispensed local ordinaries from “regulating” the celebration according to the Extraordinary Form when, in his Letter to Bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio, His Holiness states “The present norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.”
  3. “The presider at this form of celebration should be a priest duly appointed by the Archbishop….” [Guidelines, para.4] There is no ‘presider’ at a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, this is a term introduced with the new order of Mass. In the Extraordinary Form of Mass there is a ‘celebrant’ who offers up the sacred mysteries acting in persona Christi.
  4. Concerning paragraph 5 of the Guidelines – it is the duty of all Sacred Pastors to ensure the solemnity and orderliness of the celebration of ALL forms of liturgy in their diocese so it needs to be explained why the Extraordinary Form requires special attention? As the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form are “two uses of the same rite” [Summ. Pont. Art. 1], is the participation of other ministers (i.e., lectors, Master of Ceremonies, servers, choir, etc.) in the Ordinary Form also to be determined and regulated by the Ministry for Liturgical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila?
  5. It is commendable that a missal / booklet of the rite in Latin and English be prepared to help the faithful follow the celebration but why should those who wish to participate in this Mass have to undergo a catechetical orientation before the celebration? Will this requirement for a catechetical orientation apply equally to those attending the Ordinary Form?
  6. The local Ordinary has jurisdiction over this celebration in the sense that he must ensure that ALL liturgy under his jurisdiction is celebrated in conformity with the laws of the Church. Whatever is decided in relation with the Extraordinary Form of Mass must be decided “in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio” [Letter to Bishops]. It is an abuse of authority, and in disobedience to the law expressed by the Supreme Pontiff, our Holy Father, to interfere in the right granted by the Successor of Peter to any priest in good standing to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of Mass. The Pope, the Supreme Legislator, has issued a DECREE, for the benefit of all priests and faithful of the Roman Rite in the Universal Church and no local bishop can interfere with this law and impose his own conditions in an act of public disobedience to the Vicar of Christ

The way forward for any priest or member of the faithful is clear. In accordance with article 7 of the Motu Proprio they must contact immediately the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for clarification and send a copy of the guidelines that obstruct the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. They should write to:

    H.E. Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos,
    President, Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei,
    Palazzo della Congr. per la Dottrina della Fide,
    Piazza del Sant Ufficio,
    00193 Rome,
    Fax: +39 06 69 88 34 12. Email: eccdei@ecclsdei.va.


Leo Darroch
Executive President
International Federation Una Voce.
11th February 2009.


A hobbit thanks to Carlos Palad in Rorate Caeli

Archdiocese of Manila: Guidelines on the Celebration of the Mass According to the Rite of the Roman Missal Published in 1962 (Tridentine Mass)

In accordance with the norms laid down by the Apostolic Letter, issued motu propio, of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, We hereby establish the following guidelines and conditions on the celebration of the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962 (Tridentine Mass) in the Archdiocese of Manila:

  1. The regulation of the celebration of this extraordinary form of the Mass belongs to the Archbishop of Manila, through the Minister of the Ministry for Liturgical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila.
  2. This form of Mass is to be celebrated only at the Christ the King Chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Manila once a month, but not on Sundays and Solemnities.
  3. The presider at this form of celebration should be a priest duly appointed by the Archbishop of Manila.
  4. To ensure the solemnity and orderliness of the celebration of this form of Mass, the participation of other ministers (i.e., lectors, Master of Ceremonies, servers, choir, etc.) in the liturgy is to be determined and regulated by the Ministry for Liturgical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila.
  5. The celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass in this Chapel is open to any individual or group in the Archdiocese of Manila who may have the desire to participate in such celebrations. Further requests from individuals or groups from the parishes of or who belong to the Archdiocese of Manila to celebrate this form of Mass is to be directed to join the monthly celebration at the Manila Cathedral.
  6. It is highly encouraged that a missal / booklet of the rite in Latin and English be prepared to help the faithful follow the celebration. It is like wise encouraged that those who will participate in this Mass undergo a catechetical orientation before the celebration.
  7. The Archbishop of Manila has jurisdiction over this celebration and, therefore, can decide to limit or discontinue this monthly celebration anytime he judges that this is not consonance with the whole pastoral direction of the Local Church.

Given in Manila, this 8th day of December 2008.

Archbishop of Manila



  1. A list of traditional latin masses in the Philippines is provided by Gerald at prodeoetpatria.  Check the sidebar.
  2. Read Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s comments per guideline in What Does the Prayer Really Say.
  3. Read the comment of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce here.

Book Review: “Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult”

The Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League (ACIL) asked me to give a talk this afternoon on the paranormal and the occult. I have given the same talk last year when I was still a facilitator of ACIL-Escopa, about a week after Fr. Jose Francisco C. Syquia, Director of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism, gave his talk at the Jesuit Loyola House of Studies, the only talk that made me trek down the hilly jungle to that secluded school of priests, nuns, and brothers from all over the Philippines. The Loyola House stands on the precipice of a fault overlooking the city of Marikina: all the kingdoms of the world laid bare before you, tempting you with wealth, power, and glory, as you try to focus on the Kingdom of Heaven beyond the clouds, beyond the stars, at the end of time.

I do not personally know Fr. Syquia, but I bought his book at Power Books at Megamall, on the Feast of All Hallows Eve 2006.  I have grown suspicious of any book on paranormal.  I have read Lobsang Rampa, Carlos Castaneda, and Jaime Licauco in my youth.  I have read them and found them wanting: they promise that anyone “can be like gods, knowing good and evil,” as the Serpent tempted Eve.   But I see only emptiness in the faces of the New Age practitioners.  No joy, no peace. By their fruits you shall know them.

But Fr. Syquia’s book is different. It is an account by an exorcist priest himself. No theological speculations, no make-believe stories, no fear. Only plain stories from his everyday encounters with demon-possessed persons and spirit-infested houses, against the backdrop of authentic Catholic Church Teaching and sayings of the saints.

The book’s structure is similar to a diptych. Most chapters consist of two parts: (1) Experience narrative and (2) church teaching. This is what journalists call as the broken-line method: narrative, explain, narrative, explain. I would have preferred a more systematic demonology: classification of demons, their powers, manifestations, and weaknesses. Maybe this is just my hangover from my close study of the Monster Manual in Dungeons and Dragons in my youth.  But Fr. Syquia’s narrative grounds you to the reality: the hairy kapre in a mango tree, the arrogant blasphemies of the possessed, the crisp cards of a fortune teller, the consecrated hands of the priests. This is the war of angels and demons fought in our very earth, in our very house, in our very soul. And Fr. Syquia tells us about this war in its gory details: the vomits, the salts, the ropes, the shrieks. This is the war whose ending we know: Satan bound by Christ our Lord; the Serpent’s head crushed by Our Lady’s heel. Satan knows his defeat and he wants to drag as many souls with him to Hell.

Here are the contents of Fr. Syquia’s book:


  1. The Church and the Devil
  2. The Parapsychological Dimension
  3. Catholicism and Philippine Folk Religiosity
  4. The Secrets of the New Age Movement: Notebook 1
  5. The Secrets of the New Age Movement: Notebook 2
  6. Foundations
  7. Ministering to Those under Extraordinary Demonic Assault
  8. Confrontation between God and the Devil
  9. The Catholic in the Midst of Love and War
  10. The Scars of Battle
  11. Defensive Armor and Offensive Weapons
  12. The Exorcist
  13. Haunted Houses: Notebook 1
  14. Haunted Houses: Notebook 2

Notes on Some of the Sources Used
Appendix A: More on Philippine Folk Religiosity
Appendix B: Personal Spiritual Warfare
Appendix C: A Concise Handbook on Exorcism and Deliverance
Appendix D: A Pastoral Approach to Infested Homes
Appendix E: Manual of Prayers
About the Author