Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Traditional Latin Mass Should be Made Available

The year was 2008, following Pope Benedict’s promulgation of his apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum in July of the previous year.   Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, was President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
As President of said Commission, His Eminence was appointed directly by the Pope as the official spokesman for the Holy See on matters pertaining to relations with the Society of St Pius X, as well as with what the Holy Father referred to (in Summorum Pontificum and its cover letter to the bishops) as “the extraordinary form”, the “older usage”, the “classical Roman Rite”, etc. Thus His Eminence’s comments can rightly be taken as expressing the thought of the Supreme Pontiff himself, unless otherwise indicated as his own personal thoughts.

At the June 15, 2008, London press interview with the Cardinal, in conjunction with a major conference of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, His Eminence was asked by a reporter from The Telegraph, one of the country’s major newspapers:

Damian Thompson: So would the Pope like to see many ordinary parishes making provision for the Gregorian Rite?

Cardinal Castrillón: All the parishes. Not ‘many’ – all the parishes, because this is a gift of God. He offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church. This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful – the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

In his introduction for an instructional video about the EF Mass, the Cardinal also said:

All this liturgical richness, all this spiritual richness, and all the prayers so well-preserved during the centuries, all of this is offered by the Rome of today for all.   As a gift for all, it is not a gift merely for the so-called traditionalists.  No, it is a gift for the whole Catholic Church.

The “sacred silence” and contemplation of the ancient rite, the cardinal said, “makes present the Lord Jesus in an expression of rich liturgical beauty, as the conqueror of death and sin… this rite brought unity to the faith and became the single expression through which the Church adores God.”

The cardinal said that parishes and priests should make available the Extraordinary Form so that “everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church.” He also stressed that, “even if it is not specifically asked for, or requested” it should be provided. Interestingly, he added that the Pope wants this Mass to become normal in parishes, so that “young communities can also become familiar with this rite.” 

[See Fr. Z’s report of the above on his blog, here.]

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