First I give my letter to the Archdiocese of Zagreb. First part of that letter explains what happened prior to it and the second part is the request. I omit the email correspondence here since it is sufficiently summarized in the letter itself.
After that the response of the Archdiocese follows. All the translation is mine, you can find the original letters in Croatian here.
All comments about the translation and the content of the letters is welcome here.
Office of the Archdiocese
Archdiocese of Zagreb
Subject: Traditional (Tridentine) Mass in the Archdiocese of Zagreb
Dear Sir or Madam:
In accordance with the instructions given to me by the spokeswoman of the Archdiocese of Zagreb Ms. Matilda Kolić Stanić, I sent an email to the address *** on 27th February 2008 concerning the execution of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of Zagreb. Since I did not receive any reply even after the repeated inquiry two weeks later, I again contacted Ms. Kolić Stanić and she assured me that my letter is certainly waiting its turn and is not forgotten. After three months, on 30th May 2008, I again sent an email to the spokeswoman and the office with a request “If my letter is just waiting its turn, I would at least like to have this confirmed with a possible date when its turn might come.” That time nobody answered. In the meantime I still have not received any acknowledgement that my inquiry has been given consideration or that anyone will answer it in future. Therefore, I repeat my query in the continuation of this letter.
It is in regard to the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as Tridentine Mass that pope Benedict XVI. writes about in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (Croatian translation on the web page http://www.latinska-misa.com/summorum.php).
I am a lay faithful, from the parish of *** in Zagreb. I would like very much to hear the mass according to the missal of blessed John XXIII. or, as it is called in the Motu Proprio, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Although such masses are available for the faithful in numerous places in the world, in Croatia we unfortunately still do not have that opportunity. From my own experience, I can say that regular celebration of Traditional Mass has a particularly beneficial influence on the catholic life in those areas.
In accordance with the instructions from the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, I first contacted the priests that work in my parish. Unfortunately, they can not or will not celebrate the Traditional Mass, which, considering different circumstances, is to a certain extent understandable. My main question is how the pope’s Motu Proprio is going to be implemented in our archdiocese of Zagreb?
Thank you for your answer. Sincerely,
Enclosed: copy of the email correspondence
In Zagreb, 17th February 2009
Office of the Archdiocese
Archdiocese of Zagreb
Zagreb, 26th February 2009
Dear Mr. ***:
I have received your inquiry, sent by electronic mail on 17th February 2009, received by us on 19th February 2009 and so I gladly answer it.
The essence of your inquiry is, as you state, “the execution of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of Zagreb” and you write “about the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as Tridentine Mass”.
You also write literally: “I would like very much to hear the mass according to the missal of blessed John XXIII. or, as it is called in the Motu Proprio, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Although such masses are available for the faithful in numerous places in the world, in Croatia we unfortunately still do not have that opportunity.”
The main question you are interested is “how the pope’s Motu Proprio is going to be implemented in our archdiocese of Zagreb?”
Responding to your main question let me remark that it’s about Pope’s document in force which allows something, therefore, there is no need to talk about implementation, since it is honored and executed in the archdiocese of Zagreb, and by that ‘implemented’. It is another question how much the faithful are asking for use of such possibility and how well-founded those requests are, i.e. are the required conditions satisfied for the usage of a provided possibility. I emphasize right away that the Archdiocese of Zagreb is acting in complete accordance with the Pope’s Motu Proprio and will honor it strictly in the future as well.
You ask us about fulfilling specific conditions, presuming that “there would be more than enough people in Zagreb interested in a regular Sunday and holiday celebrations of the Traditional Holy Mass in one of the churches of our city.”
In your letter you say that you address us “completely independently”. Such a request can not be answered affirmatively. Namely, in the document (which from this year also exists as an official translation published by Kršćanska sadašnjost: Benedikt XVI., Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and Pismo pape Benedikta XVI. Prigodom njegova objavljivanja, Documents 152, Zagreb 2009) – in twelve articles – the necessary elements and conditions are indicated under which such celebrations are permitted.
The Motu Proprio talks about permitting the celebration of the sacrifice of the mass “as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.” (cf. art. 1) Although no permission is required for the priest, in art. 5§1 the Holy Father says the following: “In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.”
It is appropriate to adjoin with that part also the text of art. 7: “If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 §1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.”
Therefore, it's always about a group of faithful defined by their attachment to an earlier liturgical tradition. We have no knowledge about the existence of such a group in your parish. It is important to notice also the other elements with regard to ordinariness of pastoral care and to interrelationships in the parish community, as well as the extraordinarity Summorum Pontificum talks about. You personally contacted the priests in your parish, but your appeal did not fulfill the wanted requirements. It is clear that the “attachment” the Motu Proprio talks about is not a simple curiosity, but implies a certain rootedness in the entire spirituality from which the good of the faithful results, as well as knowledge of the rite and its language (Latin).
It is good that you notice notional nuances that the Pope uses, that you adopt them and correct the colloquial terminology which can lead to confusion, since this matter is not about “Traditional Latin Mass”, nor does the Benedict XVI. talk about some “Tridentine Mass”, much less about “hearing the mass”, as you – talking about your own experience – wrote.
Summarizing what has been said, I emphasize that the archdiocese of Zagreb will treat every request in accordance with the regulations of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
However, it is important to mention that the assertion from your letter which says “in Croatia we unfortunately still do not have that opportunity” (meaning to celebrate such liturgy) is not correct. There is a possibility also in Croatia, but to realize this possibility no valid requests were exhibited so this possibility has not been used.
Up to now the need to use this possibility has not arisen in the archdiocese of Zagreb which is extremely indicative. As far as we know, in the area of archdiocese of Zagreb such groups have to date not been present and it is questionable how much the future generations can be attached to an earlier liturgical tradition. Since at present there are no [such groups] in our archdiocese or in Croatia, there is only a question of those that would come from other countries. We can not answer such hypothetical questions, but we will, I repeat, abide strictly by the regulations of the Motu Proprio.
It should be noted here that in the archdiocese, at the places where the need arises and on the occasions when the conditions for it are fulfilled, the liturgy is celebrated in Latin language according to the Roman Missal, i.e. its edition currently in force, based on the guidelines of the Second Vatican Council.
Connected to you in the mystical communion of Church, I sincerely salute you in Christ,
Vicar general and the president of the Committee for liturgy of the Archdiocese of Zagreb,
+ Ivan Šaško, auxiliary bishop of Zagreb