SEPTEMBER 2017: ECCLESIA DEI INSTITUTES AND POPULUS SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM MEET IN ROME

An article published by Paix liturgique, February 11, 2017.

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On 19 January 2017, the Cœtus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum (CISP) held a press conference in Paris to present the main details of the festivities to be organized in September to mark the tenth anniversary of the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI dated 7 July 2007, the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, which entered into force on 14 September 2007.

The main characteristic of this anniversary is its official character: Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has written to all the superiors of Ecclesia Dei institutes and communities, male and female, inviting them to participate.

At the press conference, it was confirmed that, on Thursday, 14 September 2017, there will be a colloquium on the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio at the Pontifical University of Angelicum, during which Archbishop Pozzo, among others (their names will be communicated over the coming months), will take stock of these ten years of renewal of the traditional liturgy in the Church. This colloquium will be led by the Dominican Father Vincenzo Nuara of the Ecclesia Dei Commission and organized by the Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum and the association Giovani e Tradizione. It will be a perfect kick off for the sixth international pilgrimage of Populus Summorum Pontificum, that will be reinforced this year by the presence of the Ecclesia Dei institutes and communities.

As usual, the highlight of this pilgrimage will be the solemn procession in the streets of Rome and the Pontifical Mass celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica at 11 am on Saturday, 16 September 2017. The services of the Basilica, under the authority of Cardinal Comastri, its archpriest, welcomed the request of the CISP to advance the time of the celebration – which usually takes place at noon – to limit the effects of the September sun on the clergy and the pilgrims who will take part in the procession. The name of the cardinal who will officiate at the Altar of the Chair will be communicated on 7 July, 2017.

In thanksgiving to Pope Benedict XVI, the maestro Aurelio Porfiri, a disciple of Cardinal Bartolucci, who was the long-time director of the Sistine Chapel choir, will direct a Mass which he will specially compose for the occasion. This bold initiative aims to show that the ancient Roman liturgy is more alive than ever and always capable of offering new artistic and spiritual treasures to the Universal Church.

Finally, to mark the continuity between the 1988 motu proprio Ecclesia Dei and the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Masses of Friday, 15 September 2017 and of Sunday, 17 September 2017, will be celebrated, respectively, by the superiors of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICRSS) and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). This is also to pay tribute to the essential role played by them following the action carried out since 1970 by Archbishop Lefebvre to preserve and transmit the most recent edition of the Tridentine Missal promulgated by Pope St. John XXIII, until 2007, when Pope Benedict XVI restored its use to the whole Church.

REFLECTIONS OF PAIX LITURGIQUE

1) It is good that both the ICRSS and the FSSP are officially participating in this tenth anniversary pilgrimage, as the Good Shepherd Institute did in 2016. Since 2012, the pilgrimage of Populus Summorum Pontificum in Rome has gradually established itself, relying on the priests and the faithful who discovered the traditional liturgy thanks to the gesture of peace, reconciliation and justice of Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. But today it is important to remember, on the occasion of this tenth anniversary, that it is thanks to the persistence of all those priests and laypeople who maintained the celebration of the traditional Mass between 1970 and 2007, and in particular all the traditional seminaries, without exception, that the traditional Mass was able to find its rights fully established in the Church in 2007.

2) The colloquium on Thursday, 14 September 2017 continues the discussions of those held in Rome in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2015. Let us recall the highlights of these previous symposia:

– in September 2008, Fr. Nicola Bux commented on the words of Pope Benedict XVI, reminding the bishops of France that “everyone has a place in the Church. there is room”, inviting all Catholics “starting with the priests and Bishops “to a real reflection” on the concept of communion”;

– in 2009, the results of the Doxa poll for Paix liturgique and Messa in Latino on the reception of the motu proprio in Italy showed that 71% of Italian Catholics would find the co-existence of the two liturgical forms within their parish normal. During this period, Archbishop Burke, who was not yet a cardinal, celebrated the first traditional pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica since the liturgical reform of 1970;

– in 2011, the symposium was held for the first time at the Angelicum. Then Mons. Pozzo presented the Universae Ecclesiae instruction on the application of the motu proprio. Cardinal Brandmüller celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Altar of the Chair;

– in 2015, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Müller, personally presided over the symposium at the Angelicum, thus demonstrating the very official character of the congress.

3) Each year at the end of a procession through the streets of the city, the pilgrimage culminates in a Mass at the Altar of the Chair, in Saint Peter’s, celebrated:

– in 2012 by Cardinal Cañizares, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship;

– in 2013 by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy;

– in 2014, by Cardinal Burke, then Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature;

– in 2015, by Bishop Laise, OFM Cap., with sermon by Archbishop Negri, Archbishop of Ferrara, and,

– in 2016, by Archbishop Sample, with sermon by Cardinal Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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