Contact:  Paul King, [email protected]

Vatican’s Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos Will Celebrate the

First Traditional Mass at the National Shrine’s High Altar in 45 Years

Washington, DC- The Paulus Institute announced today that on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at 1 p.m., the fifth anniversary of inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI will be commemorated in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, by a Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the “Extraordinary form”—commonly known as the “Traditional Latin Mass” or “Tridentine Mass”—celebrated by the Vatican prelate Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos of Colombia.

This will be the first such Mass said at the Shrine’s High Altar in nearly 45 years.  All Catholics are invited, many of whom may never have another opportunity to attend such a Mass.  Cardinal Castrillón is the President Emeritus of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (Church of God)where he assisted Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in facilitating this form of the Mass. 

In July of 2007 Pope Benedict issued the apostolic (papal) Summorum Pontificum (of the Supreme Pontiff), in which he confirmed the permissibility this Mass.  It is one of the two uses of the same rite of the Eucharistic Liturgy, along with the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970 (the “Ordinary” form).  Evolving since the early days of the Christian Church, the Mass was essentially in place by the 6th Century during the papacy of Pope St. Gregory the Great and codified by Pope St. Pius V in the 16th Century.  It was last changed by Pope John XXIII in 1962 and so used during the Second Vatican Council.  In 1984 Pope John Paul II permitted use of the Missal of John XXIII, and further facilitated it in 1988 and 1992.  Pope Benedict noted that the Latin liturgy of the Church in each century of the Christian era “has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints and reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and [facilitated] their piety,” adding, “What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred for us too.”        

Writing that since this Mass “must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage ... let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith allows.”  The pope noted in an accompanying letter that “young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction, and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Sacrifice particularly suited to them.”

The Paulus Institute in Washington DC is sponsoring the Mass.  “We are honored that His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating this Mass at our invitation, especially on the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s inauguration and at the High Altar of the National Shrine,” said Institute President Paul King.  “It is a privilege to recognize the Pope on this auspicious occasion and assist his call to give due honor to the 1500-year old Mass for its ‘venerable and ancient usage.’”

“We are inviting all Catholics to this Mass for the unity of the entire Catholic community, including those unfamiliar with it and particularly young adults and families.”  

For additional information on The Paulus Institute’s activities, go to:

For a quick look at the latest on the Mass check out www.pontificalmass.org

Follow the planning of the Mass on twitter at www.twitter.com/pontificalmass

View and track the event on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=454040090064


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Contact: Paul N. King
[email protected] 

Mail: The Paulus Institute
PO Box 30172
Bethesda MD 20824