Cardinal Cañizares explains why he agreed to preside over Saturday’s mass for faithful from the “Una cum Papa nostro” pilgrimage, in St. Peter’s Basilica.
ANDREA TORNIELLI vatican city
“I gladly accepted to celebrate next Saturday’s mass for pilgrims who came to thank the Pope for the gift of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum because it is a way to make others understand that it is normal to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite…” This was the answer Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, gave to Vatican Insider when asked about the meaning of next Saturday’s (3 November) mass which will be celebrated at 15:00 in St. Peter’s Basilica. This morning, the spokesman for the “Una cum Papa nostro” pilgrimage announced that Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, Vice President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be present at the mass.
What is the point of the pilgrimage?
“To give thanks to God and thank the Pope for the motu proprio he issued five years ago, recognising the value of the liturgy celebrated according to the missal of the Blessed John XXIII and marking continuity with the tradition of the Roman Rite. By recognising the previous liturgy one understands that reform does not mean doing away with older traditional practices.”
Why did you agree to celebrate mass for pilgrims who follow the pre-conciliar Rite?
I agreed because it is a way to show people it is normal to use the 1962 missal: there are two forms of the same Rite but there is only one Rite, so it is normal to use it during mass celebrations. I have already celebrated a number of masses according to the missal introduced by the Blessed John XXIII and I will gladly do so again on this occasion. The Congregation in which the Pope has called me to act as Prefect does not oppose the use of the old liturgy, although the task of our dicastery is to enhance the meaning of liturgical renewal according to the directives of the Sacrosanctum Concilium constitution and follow in the footsteps of the Second Vatican Council. In relation to this it must be said that the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite must draw inspiration from the conciliar Constitution which in the first ten paragraphs focuses on the true spirit of the liturgy and so is relevant to all rites.”
What is your opinion regarding the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, five years on?
“I do not know the details regarding the world situation, partly because it is the Ecclesia Dei Commission that deals with this but I think that people are gradually beginning to understand that the liturgy is core to the Church and we have to revive the sense of mystery and sacredness in our celebrations. Furthermore, I believe that five years on we are able to better understand that it is not just about some faithful feeling nostalgia for the Latin Rite but about adding to the meaning of the liturgy. We are all part of the Church, we are all in one communion. Pope Benedict XVI explained this very well and on the first anniversary of the motu proprio, he recalled that “no one is unwelcome in the Church.” © 2012 Vatican Insider