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Vatican Consultant Says Pope Will Not Hamper Traditional Latin Mass

Summorum Pilgrimage to Rome Set for October

By Alberto Carosa

POSTED: 8/13/13

ROME – The Mass in the Roman rite according to the pre-conciliar Missal of 1962 will continue to be freely celebrated without any limitation by Pope Francis. This is the opinion of renowned theologian and liturgist, Don Nicola Bux, as expressed in a recent interview in the Neapolitan daily Roma and reported in various news outlets.

"The movement in favour of the traditional liturgy will certainly continue because the succession of Popes does not break the continuity of tradition and he who succeeds to a predecessor does not invent the Church again”, said don Bux, who is also a consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and well respected in tradition-minded circles. “Sometimes it is believed that the Pope, in his office, must make his personal views prevail, but this would be quite worrisome. It is clear that every Pontiff has his own temperament and history, and it is not these that are to prevail, but always the good of the Church. The Pope is a minister, but he is not the master, as was also reiterated by the current Pontiff".

And what about Pope Francis’s attitude toward the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum? Well when he was Bishop of Buenos Aires, according to don Bux, Cardinal Bergoglio did  "not hamper the application of the Motu Proprio".

The interest in the traditional liturgy, don Bux contends, is also linked to the new evangelization. "In the present moment of grave crisis of faith, a mystical liturgy celebrated with dignity can be a great help for people searching to find God. Historically, great converts were struck by grace while attending solemn rites and listening to extraordinary chants".

Don Bux’s words cannot but bode well for the Summorum Pontificum pilgrims due to flock to Rome for the second annual pilgrimage in October, whose programme was officially presented in late June during a media briefing at the Church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims), the personal parish erected by Benedict XVI to cater for the spiritual and religious needs of the traditionalist community in Rome and served by the Fraternity of St. Peter.

Pilgrimage chaplain, Father Claude Barthe, was the keynote speaker at the briefing. He announced that the pilgrimage would take place in Rome from the 24th to the 27th of October and, this time, besides the procession and Mass at Saint Peter’s on Saturday, October 26th, there will be a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in the streets of Rome on Friday, October 25th, and the closing Mass on Christ the King Sunday. This Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Rifan, the bishop of the Apostolic Administration Saint Jean-Marie Vianney in Campos, Brazil. Meetings and discussions between clergy and laity are also scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the form of a round table.

As was pointed out in the Paix Liturgique Newsletter (No 37 - 29 May 2013), Dom Rifan is bishop of what is so far the only “personal diocese” whose apostolate is based on the use of the Gregorian and the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Little known outside Brazil, the Saint Jean-Marie Vianney Apostolic Administration was born of the diocese of Campos, whose courageous bishop from 1949 to 1981 was Bishop de Castro Mayer, co-consecrator along with Archbishop Lefebvre of the four SSPX bishops in 1988. The traditional community of Campos was regularized by the Holy See in 2002 through the erection of an Apostolic Administration that now numbers some thirty priests, a hundred Mass venues, 24 schools and close to 30,000 faithful. Bishop Rifan succeeded the first Apostolic Administrator of Campos, Bishop Rangel, who passed away soon after the agreements with Rome.

Father Barthe also said that “with the second Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage coming up, pilgrims who follow the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite are invited to close this Year of Faith the same way it began, by making their way to Rome and showing their support for the Mission of the Church and their desire to play a greater part in it”.

The ever-young and ardent traditional liturgy of all time, he went on, is peacefully spreading into almost all the Catholic world and breathes its own spirit into the work of the New Evangelisation. “It attracts many of the young people who come to know it, thanks to its powerful identity and the way it expresses sacredness, and for these reasons it should be considered one of the important planks in the New Evangelisation”.

In Father Barthe’s opinion, “all pilgrimages to St. Peter’s and the tomb of the Apostle are pilgrimages we make with the Bishop of Rome, and as such they are a way for us to show our fidelity to the Successor to St. Peter”. In this particular case, he added, “I think I can say the feeling is mutual: we know that Pope Francis is very interested in that which renews and rejuvenates the outward face of the Church, and this Pope who came from so far away seems to have understood what strengths are to be found in older, European Catholicism…As far as we are concerned, Pope Francis is living out what his predecessor said to the Bishops of France in 2008:'Everyone has a place in the Church'."

“Last year,” Father Barthes noted, “Cardinal Cañizares, in his homily during Mass at St. Peter’s, insisted that the Extraordinary Form is giving rise to priestly and religious vocations… Let us not forget that in many countries with very few vocations, more and more seminarians are being called by the Extraordinary Form. In France now, 15% of all new vocations come from the Extraordinary Form, and this gives a clear idea of the effects it has on the clergy”.

“Also as a result of this phenomenon,” he pointed out, “a lot of old barriers are falling down. With all these diocesan priests who are discovering the riches and joy of saying Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, the number of seminarians who are learning to follow it, and the ordinary Catholics who are asking for it in their parishes, something must be done to improve contacts between them all. The Year of Faith also involves the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage”

Another important development is that the pilgrimage organisers have entered into an exclusive partnership with Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, more commonly known by the acronym, ORP, which is the official pilgrimage branch of the Vicariate of Rome, a Department of the Holy See directly answerable to the Vicar Cardinal of Rome, Agostino Vallini. ORP has launched three special packages designed to suit individuals, couples or families wishing to make the second annual Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome.  Further information and bookings can be accessed in six languages by clicking:

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