Spain: Traditional Mass Banned for a Pilgrimage

Source: FSSPX News

The statue of Our Lady of Covadonga

According to its website, “Our Lady of Christendom – Spain (NSC-E) is an annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga (Asturias) organized by a group of faithful lay Catholics.” A fundamental aspect of this gathering is “the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.”

But this year, the “fundamental aspect” cannot be fulfilled, at least not in the basilica: the fault of the Dicastery for Divine Worship, which prohibited the celebration of the traditional Mass on the third day of the pilgrimage, in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Covadonga. It is an incomprehensible ban, or rather one which shows the desire to further stifle the spread of the Tridentine Mass.

This event was held for three consecutive years. Last year, more than 1,200 pilgrims traveled a hundred kilometers in three days, from Oviedo to Covadonga. The three days had seen the celebration of the traditional Mass, which had been held in the Basilica of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Covadonga.

In what can be called a Spanish reproduction of the Pilgrimage of Christendom [the Paris-Chartres Pentecost Pilgrimage]—which has even taken up the name—the intentions are similar. Last year, Fr. Íñigo Serrano, General Chaplain of Our Lady of Christendom, was able to celebrate Mass in the Basilica, which will be closed to the Tridentine Mass this year.

In a statement reproduced on the association’s “X” account, the organizers announce that “the Archbishopric of Oviedo informed us that it had received instructions from the Dicastery for Divine Worship [whose Prefect is Cardinal Arthur Roche, very opposed to the traditional Mass] indicating that the Traditional Holy Mass cannot be celebrated at Covadonga.”

The statement continues: “Given this news, this year, the Mass on the third day will be celebrated at the camp in the morning, before the start of the [walking] stage.”

The InfoCatolica website, which relayed the news, asks the question: “Are they afraid of the French precedent?”, recalling that the Pentecost Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage had once again broken participation records. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who celebrated the Mass at Chartres, was able to preach before more than 18,000 pilgrims.

The question is worth asking, and the response is certainly: yes. Since the beginning of Francis’s pontificate, when a movement, an association, or a religious congregation has come closer to Tradition, it has been mercilessly punished. The most emblematic example of this is that of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

This persecution of a pilgrimage, which brings together 1,000 to 1,500 people, is cruel and petty. And it is counterproductive in terms of its immediate effect. But it is in line with what The Pillar reported of its Roman investigation into the rumors of the suppression of the traditional Mass.

A concerned official within the Curia had “told The Pillar that some proponents of new measures to restrict celebration of the TLM were not aiming for complete and total suppression, [...] but rather a kind of ‘quarantine.’”

“‘The thinking, and some will put it in these terms, is to “force them [traditionalist Catholics] onto reservations,” with everything that goes with that kind of imagery.’ ‘Taking them out of diocesan life, driving them into little pockets around things like the ICKSP [...] would take them out of local bishops’ hands,’ the official said.”