SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
070707 The memorable date - in more ways than one - on which our beloved Holy Father signed the Motu Proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM freeing the celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII, that is the traditional Latin Mass.
The Holy Father's intentions were several:
-to aid in the reintegration of Lefebvrists into the life of the Church
-to offer comfort to those already devoted to the Latin Mass, and
-to institute a gradual process whereby greater exposure to the ancient ritual would inspire greater reverence in the celebration of the Novus Ordo.
Three years on, progress has been solid on all fronts. Though some Episcopal Conferences have, to put it mildly, dragged their feet, the progress has grown up around them. Perhaps the most unco-operative have been the French Bishops. Yet their own Mass attendance figures suggest that the number of people attending Sunday Masses in France is almost identical with the known numbers of people attending the Latin Mass. There are none so blind.....
Here in Australia, progress has been slow due to our preponderance of liberal Bishops. However, even in their leading liberal See of Brisbane the one suburban church made available to the Latin Mass community, is jam - packed every Sunday whereas three years ago it was only two thirds full. In the orthodox Archdioceses of Sydney and Melbourne and Canberra-Goulburn the churches dedicated to the Latin Mass are very well attended.
An interesting characteristic of each of these congregations is the majority of young people regularly attending. The future looks brighter and brighter, and will only be enhanced by the retirement of several Bishops in the next twelve months. Interestingly, a majority of young priests ordained in Australia this year, celebrate Holy Mass according to both the older Extraordinary Form and the vernacular Novus Ordo.