United States: a declaration of Cardinal Francis George in favor of the Mass “of St. Pius V”

Source: FSSPX News


Cardinal Francis Eugene George, Archbishop of Chicago, came out in favor of the traditional liturgy. In a preface to the acts of the conference of the International Committee for Liturgical Studies (C.I.E.L.), and previewed originally in the September 2003 issue of La Nef [translator’s note: The Nave – a French, St Peter’s Society magazine], he emphasized that this rite is “a precious source of liturgical understanding for all other rites” and that it must be “better accepted”.

Several months after the mass that was celebrated according to the “Tridentine” rite in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major by Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal George affirmed: “We are at a moment of considerable importance for the 1962 liturgy.” He added, “The Holy Father has himself recently pointed out the beauty and depth of the missal of St. Pius V”.

According to Cardinal George “a wider use of the Roman Missal of 1962, in the context of its authorization, must be more than just a nostalgic revival of a venerable rite”. He further clarified: “This liturgy belongs to the entire Church as the rich conduit of the spirit which should shine forth also in the celebration according to the third typical edition of the current Roman Missal”.

The American archbishop also made allusion to the future disciplinary liturgical norms, announced by John-Paul II in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the original version of which was judged too severe and is consequently being rewritten (see DICI no. 82). He echoed the statements of the Prefect for Divine Worship, Cardinal Francis Arinze: These norms “will enable the concrete application of the teaching on the Sacrament of the Eucharist developed by Pope John-Paul II in his encyclical”, so that “all who assist at the mass will have a sense of being spiritually and liturgically nourished” and find “a celebration of the liturgy which favors the worship of God”. For Cardinal George, “it’s something which must be sought by the whole Church and for all the rites.” (…) “My hope is that we are perhaps witnessing the dawn of a truly fruitful renewal of the liturgy of the Catholic Church, as the Second Vatican Council wished”.

At the invitation of CIEL, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Prefect-emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship will celebrate a mass according to the rite “of St. Pius V” in the parish of St. Eugene-St. Cecilia, next November 22, on the occasion of the centenary of the motu proprio Tra le sollicitudine of Pope St. Pius X on Sacred Music, published on November 22, 1903.