November meeting for Summorum Pontificum

From the intrepid Andrea Tornielli of Vatican Insider with my emphases and comments.

Year of Faith: The first meeting of faithful in favour of the rules of the “Summorum Pontificum” has been called for 3 November and will take place in the Vatican. The faithful are hoping for a speech from the Pope


The faithful who follow the traditional Latin rite of Mass thanks to the Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter issued “motu proprio” by Benedict XVI IN 2007, will meet in Rome for a pilgrimage linked to the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage will conclude with a Mass celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. The news was announced in the last few hours.  [Actually, I think we have known this for a while.]

“Various representatives of groups of lay faithful, including the international federation One Voice and the Italian Summorum Pontificum’s National Coordination office have just instituted the “Coetus internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum” in Rome. The purpose of this is to organise an international pilgrimage of pro Summorum Pontificum associations, groups and movements during the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage will end with a Mass celebration in St. Peter’s on Saturday 3 November 2012. An official presentation of the event will be given on 10 September.”

Organisers have explained that the event is intended as “a big mobilization initiative in Rome, leading all faithful who are devoted to the Holy Liturgy and the Holy Father, the Pope, on a pilgrimage of prayer. Now more than ever, with all the attacks on his sacred person, the Pope is in need of our unanimous manifestation of affection, obedience and charitable support. Let the organising begin.”  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

This will not the first time the Latin Rite Mass of 1962 – according to the last of the Missals that precede the post-conciliar liturgical reform – celebrated in St. Peter’s. German cardinal Walter Brandmüller presided over a traditional rite mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on 17 March 2011, at the end of a convention on the Summorum Pontificum issued “motu proprio” in Rome.

Organisers said nothing about a potential meeting with the Pope, although the Coetus internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum is hoping that Benedict XVI will be present and greet pilgrims who will come to Rome from all across the world.

[And now some statistics…] In September 2010, three years after the implementation of the “motu proprio”, the Paix Liturgique group published some figures on the situation in a newsletter. The quantitative and qualitative study concerned thirty countries where Catholicism has the strongest presence. It looked into the number of traditional masses on offer, their frequency and the times held, to assess for example whether these times were convenient for families. The situation was monitored in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, the Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria.

The data was obtained from two independent sources. The findings revealed that the Tridentine Mass is celebrated in 1.444 locations. Of these, 340 celebrate mass once a week; 313 celebrate Sunday mass but not regularly, so not every week; 324 celebrate mass every Sunday but at times that are not convenient for families (so not between 9 and 12). Finally, 467 places celebrate mass every Sunday at family friendly times. Essentially, one in three masses are family friendly (32, 3%), whilst one in four masses is not celebrated on Sunday.

An interesting comparison can be drawn between the masses celebrated by the Society of St. Pius X, not taken into account in the first figure which did take into consideration masses celebrated according to Benedict XVI’s “motu proprio”. Lefebvrian groups organise a total of 690 masses and one in two of these is celebrated according to Benedict XVI’s “motu proprio” and in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the difficulties and the resistance shown, a growing number of people are slowly becoming familiar with the Traditional Rite Mass.

For years I have suggested that, if Benedict XVI for whatever reason chooses not to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form himself, perhaps His Holiness would deign to be present at such a Holy Mass, so that it might be celebrated coram Pontifice.  That sort of Mass has its own complexities, but they could be waved.  Hey!  He is the Roman Pontiff, after all.

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  1. jbas says:

    I think the figures would be different today, but the time of day remains a problem. I’m fortunate to have inherited a parish Mass schedule a year ago allowing me to add an EF Mass at 11am each Sunday, but I would have feared replacing an existing Mass at that time. And I have heard no one address the bination/trination problem authoritatively (e.g. if the bishop assigns you three Sundays Masses, may you still offer a fourth EF Mass?). It would be great if the Holy Father attended this gathering, but I’m more interested in concrete answers to canonical questions and challenges.

  2. Cornelius251 says:

    Just for fun, here is a 2007 article from New Liturgical Movement that deals with the celebration of Mass coram Ponticife.

  3. If the Holy Father does choose to celebrate the Missal of 1962 (I can pray and hope for this). I can see a slightly simplified version to preserve the Holy Father’s energy at his age. The year of the Faith would be a great time for a Papal Mass in the EF.

  4. Mike_in_Kenner says:

    I think the question about bination/trination is an interesting one. It seems to me that an easy part of the answer is found in Canon 905 of the Code, which states in Section 1 that “It is not licit for a priest to celebrate the Eucharist more than once a day except for certain instances when the law permits such celebration or concelebration more than once.” Then Section 2 states: “If priests are lacking, the local ordinary may permit priests, for a just cause, to celebrate twice a day and even, if pastoral need requires it, three times on Sundays and holy days of obligation.” So it seems clear to me that a priest may never celebrate four Masses on any day, not even a Sunday or day of obligation.

    However, I do think there is an interesting point in Summorum Pontificum about the just causes and pastoral needs that would justify celebrating twice, or even thrice on a day of obligation, and how Extraordinary Form Masses fit into a priest’s schedule. Summorum Pontificum Article 5, Section 2, states (in somewhat awkward language in the English translations floating around) that Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may have a place on ferial days and also may have one place on Sundays and feasts. (“Celebratio secundum Missale B. Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest.”) I read this to be a statement in reference to Canon 905 explaining that pastoral care of people who desire the EF is, by definition, a sufficient just cause that a priest could offer a second Mass in a day to care for the EF community, and that for Sundays and days of obligation, out of the possible maximum of three Masses, pastoral care of faithful attached to the EF automatically justifies “one place” on the schedule (reading a connection between the expression “locum habere potest” and “una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest”). Thus, if a priest is assigned to offer three Masses on a Sunday due to lack of priests and pastoral necessities, I think an EF Mass can rightfully claim one of those “places.”

    I am not a canonist (just an ex-seminarian with a couple of Intro to Canon Law courses), but I cannot figure out any other sensible meaning to the phrasing about having “una etiam celebratio” in SP Article 5, Section 2. I would be interested to know what qualified experts have to say on this point.

  5. Jack Orlando says:

    Now more than ever, with all the attacks on his sacred person, the Pope is in need of our unanimous manifestation of affection, obedience and charitable support.” “Do I hear an Amen.

    You hear an full-thoated and vociferous Amen! And, sadly, many of these attacks come from Ultra-Traditionists, if one judges by what can be found on another popular traditionalist website (certainly not on wdtprs!). These Ultras have done more damage to the repute of those who endorse then EF than a legion of Liberals. Let us Tradtionalists show Holy Father indeed our affection, our charitable support, and our obedience.

  6. Former Altar Boy says:

    I, too, have wondered why the Holy Father does not, or will not, celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Didn’t he say they were of equal respect? How may bishops who are sitting on the fence would ease up on the TLM if they saw their shepherd use it? How enboldened might they laity become to petition their bishops for the TLM if they saw the Holy Father say it?

  7. asperges says:

    This is good news indeed. If the Holy Father were to celebrate Holy Mass himself in the EF, its impact would be considerable, not to say, immeasurable. The fact that he has not to date gives an excuse to the condescending and dismissive attitude of many of our Bishops and clergy still.

    The clergy in the UK, with honorable exceptions, are not encouraged to do more than lip-service to requesting groups (mostly associated with the Latin Mass Society in the UK); silly times and venues are proposed and with no formation of any kind for the faithful or mention of Summorum Pontificum within the dioceses or parishes. Consequent poor attendances at EF Masses are then trumpeted as the perfect reason why nobody wants or asks for it. After 40 years organising Masses, I am still met with “Oh I didn’t know that was still allowed, usually followed by, “but my parish priest likes the new stuff and would never have any Latin.” or “But why do we (still) have to drive 40 miles to a church for a 3pm Mass?”

    Let us pray for a real success in November, especially for the Holy Father’s welfare. Already there is much comment on his age, with the underlying unspoken wish that he will not last much longer, so the brakes can be applied. May the Divine Providence that chose him look after him.

  8. Demasi says:

    Good afternoon,

    There is an online petition to the Holy Father celebrate a TLM. Are 1068 signatures until now.
    Please sign and share. Thanks, Demasi

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