The Pope’s Mass or the Example from Above

Source: FSSPX News



Since the promulgation of the Motu proprio on the Tridentine Mass, journalists have been wondering whether the pope will one day celebrate in the traditional rite. Some believe they know he will do so on the first Sunday of Advent. Mid-July, others announced that Benedict XVI was already celebrating the Mass of Saint Pius V in private. This was immediately denied by the Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi. As a matter of fact, on July 16, the American news agency Catholic World News, claimed that according to anonymous “but well informed” sources at the Vatican, the pope was saying his daily Mass according to the Tridentine rite. The other American agency, Catholic News Service, immediately asked Fr. Lombardi who said that Benedict XVI celebrated the Paul VI Mass in his private chapel, facing the cross and his back to the people. We understand the interest attached to this information by observers who would see in this celebration what they call “a strong signal” in favor of the traditional Mass: exempla trahunt, examples attract.

Another question which hardly received any media coverage is to know whether the pope for the consecration of the Precious Blood, when he celebrates the Mass issued from the Second Vatican Council, adopts the current translation “for all” or the correct translation “for many” as recalled by Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on October 17, 2006. Here again, “examples attract”, especially in solemn celebrations before the bishops of the South American continent in which lives the majority of the world’s Catholic population.

Fr. Joël Danjou, a priest of the SSPX, sent us a report of the ceremony of canonization of Brother Galvao, on May 11, 2007 on the Campo de Marte in Sao Paulo, during Benedict XVI’s visit to Brazil:

“I was present for this event, and accompanied by some 15 young people of the MJCB (Traditional Catholic Youth Group in Brazil ). The ceremony was to take place at 9:30 am, we were there already at 7:30 am with the banners of the SSPX, the MJCB and St. John Bosco, patron saint of our youth group. On two banderoles we had written: “Blessed be Tradition, the handed-down Revelation” and “Yes to Catholicism, No to Modernism.” We had besides 15,000 leaflets on the Holy Mass, communion in the hand, and the secularization of the Church to distribute.

Until 11:30 am, we kept distributing our leaflets at one of the main entrances. In the distance we could hear the litany of the Saints for the canonization, it was all in Portuguese but with the traditional melody.

Then we went nearer to the surrounding wall of the Campo de Marte, to follow from a closer distance, with all our banners unfurled. The pope was reciting the beginning of the Canon. The loud speakers were carrying perfectly the sound of his voice. We could hear every word in Portuguese loud and clear. For the consecration of the Precious Blood, he said: "TOMAI, TODOS, E BEBEI : ESTE É O CÁLICE DO MEU SANGUE, O SANGUE DA NOVA E ETERNA ALIANÇA, QUE SERÁ DERRAMADO POR VÓS E POR TODOS, PARA A REMISSÃO DOS PECADOS. FAZEI ISTO EM MEMÓRIA DE MIM.” For you and for all. According to the Vatican website which provided explanatory comments on the ceremony, for the occasion, the pope used the Eucharistic prayer V, granted to Brazil for the Eucharistic Congress of Manaus in 1974.

In the afternoon of the same day, during Vespers in the Cathedral of Sé, the pope addressed the Brazilian bishops, and recalled his desire to “restore to the liturgy its sacred character. It was with this end in view that my Venerable Predecessor on the Chair of Peter, John Paul II, wished to “appeal  urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity… Liturgy is never anyone’s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated.” (Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 52). For Bishops, who are the “moderators of the Church’s liturgical life”, the rediscovery and appreciation of obedience to liturgical norms is a form of witness to the one, universal Church, that presides in charity.”

In his letter of October 17, 2006, Cardinal Arinze wrote: “The Roman rite in Latin always said pro multis, and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice. (…)

The expression “for many”, while remaining open to the inclusion of every human person, also reflects the fact that salvation is not given mechanically, without our willing it or participating in it; but it rather points out that the believer is invited to accept the gift offered to him in the faith and to receive supernatural life which is given to all those who take part in this mystery, living it also in their existence so as to be numbered among the “many” to whom the text refers.”

 Photos of the MJCB on the occasion of the papal Mass