Letter #78, 2023 Tuesday, March 28: Old Mass
All around the Vatican the morning, new posters appeared.
The new posters praise the old rite of the Mass.
The posters have large photos of past Popes, like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and quotations from their writings which express appreciation and veneration for the old liturgy.
The posters were prepared and posted by a Catholic group in favor of the continued respect in the Church for the old liturgy.
There have been reports in the press that Vatican officials, and Pope Francis, may issue further restrictions on the celebration of the old liturgy.
These posters were planned to forestall or prevent such a decision, if possible; the organizers say their intent was “to make public their profound attachment to the traditional Mass at a time when its extinction seems to be planned.”
The email of the organizing committee is:
Below is an English translation of an Italian report on this unusual story, translated by American Vaticanist Diane Montagna. —RM
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The Messa in Latino report on this story:
Breaking News: Traditional Liturgy Billboards Plastered around Rome and the Vatican! (link)
Translation from Italian by Diane Montagna (link)
March 28, 2023
Although the bad weather in Rome (including Monday’s hailstorm) has definitely slowed down operations, anyone approaching the Vatican, whether on foot or by car, won’t fail to notice a series of large billboards extolling a love for the Pope, the peace and unity of the Church, and the freedom of the Traditional Latin Mass.
The billboards (see photos below) are of four different types, with some in English.
Several dozen were posted in all.
Under a wide green banner with the mottos mentioned above, an ancient painting of St. Pius V is featured, as well as the faces of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Next to the images of the venerated pontiffs are quotations from their papal acts:
—an excerpt from Pius V‘s 1570 apostolic constitution Quo Primum
—an excerpt from an address by Pope John Paul II
—an excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI‘s July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio Summomm Pontificum and
—one from his accompanying Letter to Bishops.
A QR Code links to this page on the National Committee on Summorum Pontificum (CNSP) website.
This is clearly an important public awareness campaign: to which the Catholic group Messa in Latino (MiL) wishes to draw particular attention, both because the initiative is definitely significant and impactful, and because some of its promoters are very close to our blog.
Here, then, for our readers, is the press release issued just issued by the Organizing Committee, in Italian and English:
Translation by Diane Montagna
Starting this morning, and lasting for 15 days, several dozen billboards dedicated to the traditional liturgy will be posted near and around the Vatican.
An organizing committee, whose members are participating in a personal capacity and who come from different Catholic entities (such as the blogs, Messainlatino and Campari & de Maistre, and the associations, National Committee on Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel Association), wished to make public their profound attachment to the traditional Mass at a time when its extinction seems to be planned.
They do so out of love for the Pope, so that he might be paternally opened to understanding those liturgical peripheries that no longer feel welcome in the Church, because they find in the traditional liturgy the full and complete expression of the entire Catholic Faith.
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden of even considered harmful” (Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum).
The growing hostility towards the traditional liturgy finds no justification on either a theological or pastoral level.
The communities that celebrate the liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal are not rebels against the Church.
On the contrary, blessed by steady growth in lay faithful and priestly vocations, they constitute an example of steadfast perseverance in Catholic faith and unity, in a world increasingly insensitive to the Gospel, and an ecclesial context increasingly yielding to disintegrating impulses.
For this reason, the attitude of rejection with which their own pastors are forced to treat these communities today is not only reason for bitter sorrow, which these faithful strive to offer for the purification of the Church, but also constitutes a grave injustice. In the face of this injustice, charity itself demands that we not remain silent: for “indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed” (Pope St Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, Book II, chapter 4).
In the Church of our day, in which listening, welcoming, and inclusion inspire all pastoral action, and there is a desire to build ecclesial communion “with a synodal method,” this group of ordinary faithful, young families, and fervent priests has the confident hope that its voice will not be stifled but welcomed, listened to, and taken into due consideration.
Those who go to the “Latin Mass” are not second-class believers, nor are they deviants to be re-educated or a burden to be gotten rid of.
—The Organizing Committee
(Toni Brandi, Luigi Casalini, Federico Catani,
Guillaume Luyt, Simone Ortolani, Marco Sgroi)