Archd. of Ferrara, Italy: TLM established

On the blog Rinascimento Sacro there is an story I didn’t expect to be reading.

Following the precepts of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio and the Abbey of Pomposa, the archbishop, His Excellency Most Rev. Paolo Rabitti on 8 December, happy day that it always is and now happier still, released a notification about the introduction of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Ferrara. He has designated a church of the Theatines, Santa Maria della Pietà e san Gaetano, and its rector Fr. Riccardo Linares, to have Mass in the older form every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation at 5 pm.  

The bishop also issued a fine letter for the diocese.

Mattone su mattone, amici!

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  1. David Osterloh says:

    why do the TML,s here in the states and in may other countries seem to be placed on Sunday afternoon or on Saturday evening when pre vat 2 there would not have even been Mass, let alone one for the Sunday obligation, and if a person is to observe the 12 hour fast of the pre vat 2 era, the Sunday afternoon Mass is a stretch, Is the reason to make the Latin Mass inconvenient or are the powers that be afraid to put it in the normal Mass rotation for fear of rejection or maybe there is fear that it may be popular?
    Just asking

  2. David says:

    Abbey of Pomposa???

  3. Flambeaux says:

    Deo gratias! Brick by brick.

    Thank you for posting this, Fr. Z.

  4. Edward says:

    Most Catholics (even good ones) are lazy and not committed enough to the faith to do anything that is the slightest bit inconvenient, or that actually takes some effort (i.e. learning how to use and follow along in a missal). Even those Catholics who would be inclined to attend the TLM if it was offered at a convenient location during the prime 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. time slots will almost always opt to attend a common Novus Ordo disaster if it means they are able get Mass out of the way in the morning as opposed to waiting around all day to punch their cards so to speak in the afternoon or evening. After all, how can the TLM compete with the NFL, the PGA, and college hoops?

    The placement of the TLM at inconvenient afternoon and evening time slots relegates the TLM to the singular purpose of appeasing traditionalists. God forbid the Mass of all Ages was ever used to evangelize the masses.

  5. Fabrizio says:


    it’s not necessarily a desire to create obstacles. Bishops who REALLY want to ignore SP just do it and do nothing, or give you a tiny chapel in some far-flung mountain village to celebrate on the worst possible workday midafternoons.

    Most dioceses barely have priests to cover all parishes as it is. Some friends of mine in Tuscany have to cover for 14 (fourteen) parishes and there is only 3 (three) of them to do it (not just to say Mass, but for all there’s is to do in a parish). This news is from Ferrara, in one of the most secularized areas of Italy (Communist/former Communist party: 60 to 70%). I understand why in his communique the bishops refers to undesired political strings attached to the affection for TLM. His flock is not made of traditionalists only. And yet it was over 100 people who made the requests, and His Excellency sound clearly pleased by how they requested it, showing him they were what TLM should always be: loyal, reasonable, active and cooperative catholics who love Christ, love the Pope and their Bishop and want to HELP, not find excuses to be unhappy.

    Beleive me, this is HUGE. An Italian post-1965 Archbishop inaugurating a regular EF at a well-known downtown ancient Church by celebrating it himself, in one of the most secularized and politically polarized areas of the country, might sound no big deal anywhere else, but here…

    Unthinkable only 10 years ago. This is not to say that we’re going to crown Charlemagne in St. Peter’s tomorrow or that we’re near to having even altar boys with their own sedia gestatoria, only that Divine Providence opened a window of opportunity. It’s incumbent on us to prove to our bishops that we’re not a bunch of bitter and unrealistic jerks who can only cause trouble and point fingers despite they have clearly no idea of what it is to run a parish or a diocese..

    Being right on something, however fundamental, doesn’t make us necessarily rigth on everything, charitable, and useful to the rebuilding of the Catholic life of our nations.

    Let’s prove ourselves, and results will follow. Brick by brick

  6. chironomo says:

    David Osterloh…

    I remember back in the early 70’s… the “Folk Mass” was relegated to the 4:00 Saturday, usually in a basement or parish hall. It was said by “some other priest” than the ones that said the “normal” Masses. It was something new and strange that people had not yet totally accepted, so there was a fear of putting it in the normal rotation. Over time, that changed as it became a part of the life of the parish. The similarities are quite eerie…

  7. David: I’ve been involved in planning and scheduling several TLM’s that turned out to be Sunday afternoons, and there appeared to be no ulterior motives of the sort you suggest.

    At least in fly-over territory with sparse Catholic populations, it is necessary to choose a central location to which some people must drive an hour or two. This makes early Sunday morning inconvenient, especially for the large families with children that are common at TLM’s.

    When you look at mid to late Sunday morning, every available Catholic church is already booked with its best attended Masses — and those whose collections pay off the mortgage — and from no arguable viewpoint is it sensible to think of abruptly switching them from OF to EF; if you wanted to prove the EF a no go, that would be the way to do it. So Sunday afternoon or Saturday evening is the default for Sunday-obligation Masses.

    Incidentally, the communion fast immediately before Vatican II was 3 hours, and this is what many aim for now. But it really amounts to nothing if you finish breakfast or late lunch before getting ready to go, and then Holy Communion is almost an hour into a high Mass, if you get there a half hour early for confession, rosary, or recollection, and you drive an hour or so without stopping for lunch on the way.

  8. TJM says:

    chironomo, I had the exact opposite experience from yours. In my parish, the folk Mass was given the prime time slot on Sunday morning. The priests then
    deluded themselves into thinking that it was “popular” because it was well attended, forgetting of course, that that particular time slot was
    always well attended. If you had the TLM at the same time slot it would be just as “popular” because I believe, as many of you do, that the majority
    of Church going Catholics go to Mass at a time convenient for them. Some priests would fear that result. Tom

  9. Flambeaux says:


    Thank you for your comments. I had not realized just how significant an announcement this was.

  10. Kathleen says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minority, but being a recent college graduate, 9 am on weekends just isn’t consistent with my sleep schedule yet. I’ve yet to attend a Tridentine Mass, though I’d very much like to and there’s one offered at the parish I’ve been attending since moving a few months ago – but it’s a 9 am Mass, and I’ve just never been able to get myself up and ready in time. I don’t think I’ve been to a 9 am Mass of any kind since elementary school! It is one of my goals for the near future, but I generally find myself at a 1pm or, even more regularly, a 7pm Mass on Sundays. Personally, I’d love it if my parish offered a TLM later in the day!

  11. LeonG says:

    The main point is to attend at that time. The more who do so the better the Mass will recommend itself. Eventually, it will be moved to a more conventional time if the weight of numbers persists over other forms. The bishop is offering a wonderful response that puts in a very negative light all those bishops who have dissented from the wishes of the holy father. If we received here a possible 5pm Sunday afternoon truly Roman Catholic Holy Mass we would not look anywhere else. Pray we receive this one hopeful day in all SE Asian countries beset by noisy, irreverent, protestantised versions of The Mass in a veritable babel of ethnic tongues and dominated above all by English. I can only salute His Excellency The Most Reverend Paolo Rabitti. May thwere be many more such as he and very soon.

  12. Roland de Chanson says:

    The local TLM is at noon, but it is held in the dank and tenebrous catacombs of the lower church. The ebullient shouts of the upstairs presbyter’s Créole preaching drowns out the sacerdotal whispers down below. Why these balkanized communities with their own inculturated masses, and not one common liturgy in Latin to glorify our common Catholic heritage? By all means, have the sermon once a month in Créole. In its own way, it’s broken French. As French is broken Latin! Besides, the rubric for the homily is Dormitur, no? ;-)

    The bishop is the overseer: it is he who should take the initiative. And the risk. The wishes of the Holy Father are clear: a TLM in every parish. What did Discalced Joe Jackson say? Si aedificabis eam, venturi sunt. (If you build it, they will come.)

    Ma da queste parti si sbricciola, mattone su mattone. :-(

  13. David Osterloh says:

    Fabrizio, let me clarify, I am only referring to the States here, I do not know the Political situation in Italy, so I apologize for any misunderstandings. However if a shortage of Priests is the problem, why have another Mass, replace one, if I am forced to sit through a folk mass led by a guitarist with the talent of a tone deaf cat playing with the strings, because it is the only one at 10:00 and I couldn’t get the cows milked sooner, someone else can stand to go to a Latin Mass if it is the only one available at the time they want, Fair enough? I was under the impression the the pre vat 2 fast was 12 hours, according to my father anyway. My real point is that a Latin Mass was never said Saturday night for the Sunday obligation when it was the only Mass, so it seems odd to force it into a post vat 2 time slot, just like having serverettes for a TLM, just not quite right.

  14. Fabrizio says:


    no need to apologize. My reply was only meant to give a wider perspective on how and why certain decisions are made and why there hasn’t to be a hostile attitude behind them every time. Sorry if I sounded like referring my comments to you.

    As to just replace masses, I think it that, again, it must be seen in context. People who attend TLM normally come from different places, while the faithful going to their parish Mass live there, have their schedules and parish activities organized around that Mass and are often a “stable” group the size, if not bigger, of the perspective TLM group.

    It wouldn’t be the best way to build a favorable impression and to have TLM welcomed in a parish to start by taking away things from those who are already there.

    In time, if TLMers will prove to be a thriving community totally dedicated to the wellbeing of souls and the life of the parish (of ALL of the parish, not just their own, somewhat exoteric activities) then a replacement of one of the OF’s with a stable EF in the normal schedule of the parish will seem natural and reasonable, and nobody will be able to misrepresent it as an “usurpation” of bigoted cranks who want to “bring us back to the middle ages”.

    We must be charitable, patient, “shrewd as serpents and simple as doves”. We are preserving liturgy also for those who don’t like it. This is about winning hearts and saving souls and strenghtening the Church, not just “winning” feuds.

  15. paul says:

    David, I concur with your remarks, however I also agree that any traditional Mass is a good thing- give it time- eventually the Traditional Mass will be said in the morning as was customary. I would add that the midnight fast is of great antiquity and is still observed by the Orthodox and Eastern churches.

  16. Frank says:

    Henry Edwards:

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Archbishop should be thanked for having the traditional Mass in the archdiocese, but your reason about who’s paying the mortgage doesn’t sound like a valid arguement for having the Mass in the afternoon.

    Prior to the new Mass the churchs were filled and were paid by the people of that day. Along came the new Mass and they took over the churchs that had been paid for by those people. And now the people of the new Mass are using those same churchs in the mornings and the people of the old Mass are being told to use the churchs in the afternoon. This doesn’t sound fair to me after waiting all these years.


  17. Nicola Binaghi says:

    Dear brothers in Jesus Christ, I live in Ferrara (Italy) and I am one of the 104 people who applied to the Archbishop with a formal written request in order to have an official Tridentine mass celebrated in Ferrara soon after the Summorum Pontificum Motu Proprio was published.
    There was no other constraint to the mass being celebrated in the afternoon than the fact that most of the 18 priests who answered affirmatevly to the Bishop’s request were already committed to celebrate one or two Novus Ordo masses in the morning.
    We are VERY THANKFUL to our Archbishop for what he did. Let’s all pray for our Holy Mass to have the opportunity to go on without any further obstacles.
    Thank you all for taking interest in our small community.
    In cordibus Jesu et Mariae

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