L’OssRom: Personal parish for the Extraordinary Form set up – Card Castrillon comments

In L’Osservatore Romano for 16 May, there is an article on the establishment of the fully Extraordinary Rite parish in central Rome, staffed by the FSSP at the fabulous church Ss. Trinita dei Pelegrini.

My translation:

Erected in application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

The first "personal parish" in Rome for traditionalist faithful

An important act to apply in Rome the recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI.

In this way Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" underscored the importance of the institution of a parish in the center of Rome for the spiritual needs of traditionalist faithful, who usually attend the "Extraodinary Form" of liturgy of the Roman Rite,

A decree of the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Camillo Ruini, has in fact set up in the last few days as a "personal parish" Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, entrusting it to the pastoral care of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). 

"It is an act laid down by the Pope for the Diocese of Rome which has value in an of itself, in the continuing process now underway of the implementation of the Motu Proprio for the use of the Roman liturgy before the reform effected in 1970", explained the Cardinal President of the Vatican commission that oversees relations with the faithful bound to the preceding Latin liturgical tradition, in particular those who till now in various ways have joined to the Fraternity founded by Archbp. Marcel Lefevbre, who wanted to remain united with teh Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church.

"However," the Cardinal added, "the achievement of a personal parish also has value as an example to other dioceses, both in Italy and elsewhere."

The church, belonging to the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims and the Sick, is found in the region of the first municiple ward of Rome and is a subsidiary to the Parish of San Carlo e Biagio ai Catinari, in a central pastoral district of the Diocese.

One reads in Card. Ruini’s decree that for the parish and its pastors "pro tempore" there are recognized all the rights enjoyed by others of the Ciry and their pastors according to the common law; at the same time it has the same obligations and duties as the others, while for the administration and support of the pastor the norms promulgated by the Italian Bishops Conference and the Vicariate of Rome will be observed.

This not very well written (In Italian) piece conveys little that is new, other than the fact that this is in L’Osservatore Romano, which means that every single progressivist bishop in Italy will see and and very many open-minded younger priests will as well.

Also, I liked Card. Castrillon’s comment about this being an example for the rest of Italy and elsewhere.

Rome is taking the lead! 

Let personal parishes be set up everywhere… Brick by brick, if necessary!

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  1. Terth says:

    This is great news to those faithful who, like myself, find greater spiritual nourishment in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. However, and this has been on my mind lately, I am a little uneasy with the idea of a personal parish. Do not take my thoughts and run away with them, but isn’t the idea that I do not prefer how things are done at the parish church down the street or in my neighborhood, so I go several neighborhoods out of my way to find a church I like rather Protestant?

    Please don’t mistake what I’m saying. I myself drive many miles to attend an Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass every Sunday. During those Sundays that I cannot make it there and find myself at my local what-do-you-expect parish offering only the Ordinary Form (and without all those trappings of the older Form not suppressed by the Council’s documents) I am in quite a different mood. B-U-T, shouldn’t the Holy Father’s Marshall Plan be aimed at bringing a reverent method of offering Holy Mass into the parishes, rather than bringing reverent-minded parishoners out of their local parishes and into single parishes? I ask because I find myself a terrible witness to Protestant people I encounter – both of us have picked our Sunday place of worship based on “how we like it.” Shouldn’t mine be based on “that’s my Catholic parish”?

    Some thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. Pam says:

    I am not sure I fully understand what is meant by the term “personal parish”, would someone mind explaining it to me. Thanks…Pam

  3. RichR says:

    A personal parish has no territorial jurisdiction. Anyone can go to it from anywhere. It is usually set up to minister to the pastoral needs of a certain group.

    So, for example, Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio (www.atonementonline.com) is set up as an Anglican Use parish to minister to the needs of Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church. Though that is its original ministry, it is now enjoying many defectors from the mainstream Roman parishes (I was one of them, and I treasured every Sunday….sigh….until I moved).

  4. Terth says:

    I really thought this post would prompt more comments. I am still wondering about the wisdom of personal parishes.

  5. Chironomo says:


    There have been a number of discussions of this issue since last week… this is just one posting of several. Take a look at:




    for the longer discussions.

  6. Cathy Dawson says:

    Terth – I’ve been thinking about your post and wanted to respond, but haven’t
    had much time lately.

    I guess that going to another parish because you like it better might be a
    Protestant mentality, but I think there are also good reasons to go to a
    personal parish that have nothing to do with personal taste. People can have
    a real spiritual need for what we have at a properly celebrated Mass.
    Personally, I think everyone has this need, but God seems to give some people
    the grace to survive in the less orthodox circumstances.

    I don’t think that all the orthodox people would leave their parishes for a
    more orthodox personal parish. I have met many people who strive for
    orthodoxy who really like the contemporary worship style. Even if all the
    orthodox people did leave their parishes, if they go somewhere where they are
    getting fed they will have much more to give to the Church. It really is
    important to pray the Mass well in order to be fed and we really do need to get
    fed in order to possess God’s grace in abundance and be truly effective
    channels of that grace to others.

  7. Either a personal parish or an ordinary parish can offer a properly celebrated Mass, but it’s “not just the Mass that matters”. Many traditional Catholics seek just as much the fullness of orthodox faith and devotion found in a personal parish, which can offer all seven sacraments in traditional form, together with the effective and faithful catechetical programs and first communion and confirmation preparation that are so important to today’s traditional young families.

  8. Cathy Dawson says:

    Henry, I agree 100%. I didn’t mean to imply that the Mass is the only thing. I was throwing that out as one very important reason to find another parish. There are a lot of facets to this issue that might be good to get into if I had more time to write a cogent response – like addressing the fact that many people feel like you don’t need to worry about what you get from your parish, just what you put into it. I think the reality is that you can’t put much in if you’re not getting what you need. Also, a lot of people think that when a large number of orthodox people are “isolated” at a single parish that it will be to the detriment of the surrounding parishes. I think it’s possible that these orthodox parishes can have a very good effect on the neighboring parishes as well as to the individuals who are members there.

    But as far as how an orthodox parish (personal or otherwise) benefits its members, I agree, it’s not just the Mass (all though this is a huge thing), but the sound catechesis and also the community of people who embrace the fullness of the faith that feed us. I’ve found that I need this not just so that I can raise my children in the faith, but for myself, too – so that I’m not just persevering in the faith, but thriving. I couldn’t imagine staying in a parish that isn’t orthodox if I had a choice. Like I said before, maybe there are people who can survive these circumstances. I just know I’m not one of them. I’m not making excuses here. I’ve seen the difference it makes to be at an orthodox parish.

    I would think that the Holy Father would like to see all parishes be orthodox. The reality is that would take a lot cooperation from people who aren’t going to cooperate. In the meantime, he’s trying to provide for his sheep to get fed. To me it makes sense for the sheep to go eat.

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