What Pope Benedict is up to in Rome with the new “personal parish” alla Summorum Pontificum

The fine Andrea Tornielli posted on his blog a blurb about the new personal parish which Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome, directed his Vicarius, Camillo Card. Ruini, to establish at Ss. Tirnità (I like the Roman dialect way sometimes) dei Pellegrini. 

Tornielli conveys pretty much what I posted here and here.

In short, Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum, which clearly speaks of personal parishes for those who desire the sacraments with the older, pre-Conciliar forms.   

Summorum Pontificum did not specify how many people had to want them.  It does not give a minimum number of people who have to request this. 

As a matter of fact, the number of people going to the old Mass in Rome is not all that great, even if you tally up those going to San Gregorio, Gesù e Maria, and S. Giuseppe a Capo Le Case.

But the numbers are not the point.  

This is the right thing to do.

And the Holy Father has directed that the FSSP be given the task, which I think it significant itself, in a parish complex which will to a certain extent bring the Traditional apostolate along side some of the doing of the ecclesial movement of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Papa Ratzinger said in a book long interview with Peter Seewalk something of his future vision of the Church.  He said that parishes would remain the building block but he foresaw the strong influence of movements.

Pope Benedict is acting in continuity with his convictions and the need for continuity with our past. 

Thus is a future made brighter.

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  1. Jon says:


    This might be an appropriate time to ask again.

    You were going to check the Z-vine for any word as to when the “document on the document” might be forthcoming.

    Have you heard anything?


  2. Ottaviani says:

    I have heard of this Community of Sant’Egidio – are they any good?

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Wouldn’t a parish with both forms of the Roman Rite side-by-side be better? Don’t get me wrong, I love these personal parishes, but it seems kind of like: “We don’t want you to bother us so you people go over there.”

  4. Kradcliffe says:

    The Holy Father may have been thinking about tourists/pilgrims, as well.

  5. Geoffrey: Wouldn’t a parish with both forms of the Roman Rite side-by-side be better?

    I’ve been a member of both kinds of parishes, and each has something to offer.

    A “regular” parish may have the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass co-existing harmoniously, but is likely to be predominately “Novus Ordo” in the remaining sacraments, its catechetical programs, and its preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. As everyone knows, the latter frequently don’t work well even in good parishes. This type of parish has much to offer to mature adults who appreciate both forms of the liturgy.

    A personal parish will have all seven sacraments in traditional form, supported by full catechetical and preparation programs that are immersing and effective. This type of parish has much to offer to young families with children.

  6. Cerimoniere says:

    Henry is exactly right. Most of my Catholic life has been spent in churches which are to some extent biritual (or however we should now describe such a situation). They are certainly a great blessing in situations where the traditional liturgy is not otherwise available, and I have known a number of quite heroic diocesan pastors who have worked very hard to give it a home in their churches.

    Still, someone was always there first. Even with the best will in the world from the existing parishioners, who are usually used to the new rite, there are in-built structural conflicts. The most obvious are the Triduum services and Christmas Midnight Mass, but there can be many others. And, as Henry says, general parish programs, which inevitably mesh with the liturgy in various ways, have to be geared towards one form or the other. The result is usually that no-one is really happy.

    Such arrangements work best in those rare places, such as St. John Cantius, where there is a large community providing both uses very fully and well. In that case, the traditional faithful will encounter the new form at its best, and those who normally attend the new form have much less of a culture-shock when they encounter the old. Perhaps, over time, the “gravitational pull” will work in other parishes whether the two forms now stand rather starkly side-by-side and difficulties will reduce.

    Even so, we still need parishes exclusively based around the traditional form, because only that way can it ever fully live, and be the natural foundation and context for the faithful’s spiritual life.

  7. It’s not my place to request, but will the Holy Father offer the extraordinary form of the Mass ever in public, before God and EWTN? I’m sure I’m not the only one to ask this, of course. But doesn’t that seem like that would get this restoration thing really going?

    Does Summorium Pontificum work all the way to the pope? Because we have a stable community and I think he still knows the rubrics. Can the stable faithful be in the USA and on the other side of the television?

  8. RBrown says:


    I agree that it’s very important, but I think it’s probably smart to wait until there’s a little more penetration of SP before he does it.

    Keep in mind that BXVI is trying to do two things: Not only free up the use of the 1962 Missal but also move the entire Church.

  9. Prof. Basto says:

    When will the Bishop of Rome visit this parish?

    His Holiness fulfills pastoral vistis from time to time, and almost all roman parishes have received papal visits (during his long pontificate, John Paul II visited hundreds of parishes). So, we can hope that this parish will be included in the schedule for a pastoral visit by the Pope.

    And, when He comes, perhaps we will see him celebrate the TLM. (Athough I would prefer for it to happen at St. Peter’s first, as a greater symbolic sign to the whole of the universal Church).

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