A notice dated August 31, 2021 — today — posted at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, obtained by the Rorate Caeli website (link). The notice says there will no longer be celebrating of the old Latin Mass at the American seminary in Rome, nor training of seminarians in how to celebrate the old Mass

    Letter #99, 2021, Tuesday, August 31: Canceled

    After 14 Years (since the promulgation by Pope Benedict XVI of Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007, permitting wider celebration of the old Latin Mass) the Pontifical North American College (Rome) has canceled all Traditional Latin Masses, and all Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) training for seminarians.

    This was announced today to the NAC (North American College in Rome) community.

     The PNAC (Pontifical North American College) is the National College of the United States in Rome, and the most influential American seminary in the world. It is under the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

    The website Rorate Caeli, which is favorable to the celebration of the old Mass, and is opposed to the suppression of that celebration by Pope Francis, announced in his abrupt July 16 decree Traditionis custodes (“Of Tradition the Guardians”), writes: “This is a very important piece of the puzzle of the systemic cultural genocide Francis is imposing on Traditional Catholics. Our only options are to resist or to die and disappear. Please, mention Rorate when reporting this piece of news.”

    

    I attended the old Mass as a child. My father handed me an old Missal, and told me it would be the most important book I would ever own.

    He taught me that the Mass was centered on Christ, and that, through a mystery that was lofty, mystical, surpassing the understanding of human reason — a concept I struggled mightily to grasp(!) — the celebration of the old liturgy brought Christ into our midst, in all the churches and chapels of the world.

    Since this was the time when the old Mass was the ordinary Mass of the Church, prior to the mid-1960s, I understood my father to be referring to the old Mass, the only Mass that we knew, and I conceived a great reverence for that old liturgy and its mystery.

    I understood my father to mean that this ceremony — a collection of words, and gestures, and movements, repeated each Sunday, which was both a fixed ritual of unfathomable (to a boy of six or seven) antiquity and a lived experience of chant, worship, praise and adoration of the infinite holy God who transcends space and time — would be repeated until the end of time… and that in this way… by the unceasing celebration of this sacrifice… the fallen world, where there is so often pain and sorrow and sin and suffering, would… at least in some small, but real, way… be forgiven, healed, redeemed.

    I may not have understood correctly, or well, and wonder what he would have said about all these events and decisions of recent weeks.

    But I can no longer speak with him, except in memory.

    ***

    To this day I have this memory of him.

    I see him clear in my mind’s eye: a tall man kneeling, his hair bathed in a certain light beneath a dark, high-vaulted nave, kneeling for long moments after communion, his face in his hands, praying silently, as if praying really mattered… and as he did so, it seemed to me that there was a grandeur in being human… a grandeur in being a human who, when attempting to examine his conscience, and to decide what is right and what is wrong, follows his conscience down to the moment of decision, of commitment, of choice, and at that crossroads decides what duties and sacrifices are necessary and just and fitting to be embraced and borne and carried out… and it seemed to me, as I watched him kneeling there, that he and every man at such moments, no matter how poor or how defeated, has a dignity that surpasses words, a majesty that touches the heart and moves the soul to tears. —RM

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