PHILIPPINES: Card. Zen celebrates TLM during Eucharistic Congress

During a Eucharistic Congress held in the Philippines, His Eminence Joseph Card. Zen Ze-Kiun, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, celebrated Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.


Cardinal Zen: Traditional Latin Mass ‘nourishes faith, inspires adoration’

CEBU City (Jan. 28, 2016) – Delegates to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) flocked to the beautiful chapel of Asilo de la Milagrosa on Jan. 26 to assist at the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) offered by Hong Kong Bishop Emeritus Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-Kiun, who called for the preservation of the old rite.

Because it inspires a “sense of adoration” and keeps the Eucharist’s “sense of mystery,” the TLM is a tradition worth keeping, said Cardinal Zen, who offered the Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament in what has been called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite since the liberalization of the old rite in 2007.

Latin is no longer the lingua franca, acknowledged Zen. “But the whole ceremony inspires majesty, solemnity.”

“In this way of saying the Mass, you don’t even hear the priest pronouncing the words. But you know what this means, because so many times, we hear, we pray … So we understand what is going on,” he added.


Through an announcement at the IEC Pavilion, congress delegates were invited to the Mass organized by Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph (Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph)-Una Voce Philippines.

Old rite strengthens

An outspoken critic of the Beijing’s tight grip on Chinese Catholics, Cardinal Zen, recalled how the “Tridentine” Mass had nourished the faith of his compatriots amid upheaval in China. Zen, 85, was among those who fled Communist rule in the mainland for Hong Kong, where he joined the Salesians.

“The Mass offered in this fashion nourished our faith, nourished our vocation. And so many people in my native town Shanghai were fortified … by receiving the faith from this Mass, and during the time of persecution, they were so strong,” he said.



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  1. FXR2 says:

    Truly inspiring news!

  2. Maltese says:

    Instead of the TLM being a reliquary of the past, it can be a foment of the future. Imagine so many souls now gone (the greatest saints the church has ever seen) praying in union with those now present, and throughout the world, a single mass–said in the same form–which has inspired the greatest musicians, from Palestrina, to Haydn to Mozart, to compose music for this mass. Of course the new order mass can be prayed beautifully by a good priest. The priest who presides at the 5pm mass here in Santa Fe, NM, Fr. Russo, each Sunday is almost bursting at the seems because he is a good and holy priest (with whom I have had the pleasure of journeying on a hike in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains). So, more than the form, it is the praxis of the priest which makes mass holy–of whatever form: Chrysostom, Ambrosian, Latin, etc. That said, the lack of musicality–innate beauty–of the new order of mass makes me believe it was not proper to impose on the Catholic world. And I believe this is because it did not develop organically, as other rites have, through the centuries. The Catholics in the first century of the Church worshipped in rudimentary catacombs often; but it was supremely beautiful because of its nascent origins. To try to create and impose that organic beauty superficially after Vatican II, by mandate, was like the communists trying to replace Santa Claus with Jack Frost. You can mandate a facade of the thing before, but you can’t replace it. So, I applaud Card. Zen for taking this tiny step towards restoring meaning, purpose, and beauty into the mass.

  3. Hank Igitur says:

    Cardinal Zen was assisted in the TLMin Hong Kong by the saintly Fr Duncan Wong FSSP in 2005. Fr Wong is Malaysian and a priest of the FSSP, currently Parish Priest of Maternal Heart of Mary personal parish in Sydney Australia, erected by + George Cardinal Pell in 2013 before he was called to Rome. Since 2005, Hong Kong has borne much fruit, with the ordination of Fr Paul Leung FSSP and a seminarian now in formation in Sydney Australia under Fr Wong as Director of the Novitiate Ezechiel House. Deo Gratias.

  4. MrsMacD says:

    Blessed be God!

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