SANTA MESSA TRADIZIONALE
Roma 24 maggio 2003
Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore
Articoli e segnalazioni dopo la celebrazione
giugno 2003 - The Foundation for Catholic Reform
The Historical Mass of St. Mary Major
By Fr. Ignacio Barreiro
(Fr. Ignacio Barreiro, head of the Human Life International Rome office,
earned his STD from the University of Santa Croce in Rome.)
The Solemn Pontifical Mass that was celebrated on Saturday May 24, 2003
by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in accordance with the rite of St. Pius V
in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, is a significant milestone towards the
full restoration of the traditional Mass.
It was not a coincidence that the date chosen for this Mass was the
feast of Our Lady the Help of Christians. It is St. Pius V, whose relics
are venerated in this Basilica, who in gratitude to Our Lady for her intercession
in the victory at Lepanto against the Turks, introduced in the Litanies
of Our Lady the invocation "Auxilium Christianorum" (Help of Christians).
The Mass was preceded by the devout recitation of the glorious mysteries
of the Rosary.
Five Cardinals were in attendance: Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, Prefect
Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments; William Baum, Major Penitentiary Emeritus; Alfons Maria Stickler,
Archivist and Librarian Emeritus of the Holy Roman Church; Bernard Law,
Archbishop Emeritus of Boston; and Armand Gaetan Razafindatandra, Archbishop
Emeritus of Antanarivo, Madagascar. The Basilica was full to capacity.
The Corriere della Sera, a major Italian newspaper, reports that there
were three thousand faithful. There were many Italians who had arrived
from different parts of the peninsula. Many French pilgrims and several
groups of English speaking traditionalists were also present.
The Mass was preceded by the reading of a letter from the Secretary
of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who in the name of the Holy Father welcomed
and gave his blessings to the traditionalist Catholics who were present
in the Basilica.
The homily of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos contained very important declarations
that greatly strengthen the status of the traditional Mass. His homily
was divided into three parts: a first part dedicated to Our Lady, a second
part dedicated to the importance for all Catholics to be fully in union
with the Magisterium, and a third that dealt with the traditional Mass
in a way that was clear to qualified persons whom I consulted in this matter,
are not the Cardinal's own personal opinions, but rather the official positions
of the Holy See. The Cardinal stated that:
1. The rite of St. Pius V cannot be considered abolished and the Holy
Father has expressed his benevolent welcome to all the faithful who, recognizing
the legitimacy of the Roman Rite renewed in accordance with the indications
of the Council, remain attached to the previous normative rite.
2. Several citations from the Second Vatican Council paved the way
to establishing the principle contained in the Introduction of the Constitution
on the Sacred Liturgy which states: "Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully
recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve
them in the future and to foster them in every way."
3. For that reason the old Roman rite preserves its place in the Church
within the multiplicity of Catholic rites, both Latin and Oriental. What
unites these diverse rites is the same faith in the Eucharistic mystery,
whose profession has always assured the unity of the Church.
1. The celebration of this Mass is a major event that in itself sends
a powerful message to the Church at large on the permanent value of the
2. In a very intelligent way, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has demonstrated
that the traditional rite has never been abolished and remains as one of
the rites of the Church. With this he makes an important gesture of encouragement
to the whole of the traditionalist community and sends a message to the
members of the hierarchy who refuse to grant the traditional Mass, or grant
it with restrictions.
3. It is evident that this statement has to be followed by concrete
measures of a legally binding nature, which will establish the principle
of the permanence of the traditional rite.
Ritorna a Roma Maggio 2003
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