Saturday, August 4, 2012
WILL THE HOLY FATHER "PRESIDE" OR "CELEBRATE" THE EXTRAORIDNAY FORM OF THE MASS WHEN ADHERANTS MAKE A PILGRIMAGE TO ROME IN NOVEMBER? THE SUSPENSE MOUNTS!
My comments first: As far as anyone knows, Pope Benedict has not celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form since becoming the Bishop of Rome, not even privately.
But with a large group of adherents to the 1962 missal making a pilgrimage to Rome for the Year of Faith, will the Holy Father speak to them and will His Holiness offer Mass for them in the Extraordinary Form?
Because papal Masses are so complicated in the Extraordinary Form, may yes, but I suspect maybe no he won't offer Mass in this form.
However, nothing is stopping His Holiness from presiding at such a Mass. Presiding in this sense has a very canonical definition. When a bishop, including the Bishop of Rome presides at a Mass, that means He is not the celebrant and he doesn't wear liturgical garb, such as the chasuble and stole. Rather, he dresses in choir dress, which for the Holy Father, I suspect, could also include the cope, but I'm not sure and simply participate in the Liturgy in this way. I believe he did so at an Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy when visiting Turkey, if I am not mistaken.
At any rate, for the Holy Father to "preside" at an EF Mass would be a wonderful gesture, but for His Holiness to celebrate it would be out of this world!
Year of Faith: The first meeting of faithful in favour of the rules of the “Summorum Pontificum” has been called for 3 November and will take place in the Vatican. The faithful are hoping for a speech from the Pope
The faithful who follow the traditional Latin rite of Mass thanks to the Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter issued “motu proprio” by Benedict XVI IN 2007, will meet in Rome for a pilgrimage linked to the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage will conclude with a Mass celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. The news was announced in the last few hours.
“Various representatives of groups of lay faithful, including the international federation One Voice and the Italian Summorum Pontificum’s National Coordination office have just instituted the “Coetus internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum” in Rome. The purpose of this is to organise an international pilgrimage of pro Summorum Pontificum associations, groups and movements during the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage will end with a Mass celebration in St. Peter’s on Saturday 3 November 2012. An official presentation of the event will be given on 10 September.”
Organisers have explained that the event is intended as “a big mobilization initiative in Rome, leading all faithful who are devoted to the Holy Liturgy and the Holy Father, the Pope, on a pilgrimage of prayer. Now more than ever, with all the attacks on his sacred person, the Pope is in need of our unanimous manifestation of affection, obedience and charitable support. Let the organising begin.”
This will not the first time the Latin Rite Mass of 1962 - according to the last of the Missals that precede the post-conciliar liturgical reform - celebrated in St. Peter’s. German cardinal Walter Brandmüller presided over a traditional rite mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on 17 March 2011, at the end of a convention on the Summorum Pontificum issued “motu proprio” in Rome.
Organisers said nothing about a potential meeting with the Pope, although the Coetus internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum is hoping that Benedict XVI will be present and greet pilgrims who will come to Rome from all across the world.
In September 2010, three years after the implementation of the “motu proprio”, the Paix Liturgique group published some figures on the situation in a newsletter. The quantitative and qualitative study concerned thirty countries where Catholicism has the strongest presence. It looked into the number of traditional masses on offer, their frequency and the times held, to assess for example whether these times were convenient for families. The situation was monitored in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, the Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria.
The data was obtained from two independent sources. The findings revealed that the Tridentine Mass is celebrated in 1.444 locations. Of these, 340 celebrate mass once a week; 313 celebrate Sunday mass but not regularly, so not every week; 324 celebrate mass every Sunday but at times that are not convenient for families (so not between 9 and 12). Finally, 467 places celebrate mass every Sunday at family friendly times. Essentially, one in three masses are family friendly (32, 3%), whilst one in four masses is not celebrated on Sunday.
An interesting comparison can be drawn between the masses celebrated by the Society of St. Pius X, not taken into account in the first figure which did take into consideration masses celebrated according to Benedict XVI’s “motu proprio”. Lefebvrian groups organise a total of 690 masses and one in two of these is celebrated according to Benedict XVI’s “motu proprio” and in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the difficulties and the resistance shown, a growing number of people are slowly becoming familiar with the Traditional Rite Mass.