As the weekend draws to a close, we can gather reports on various Masses in the Usus Antiquior held in the US and around the world. Interesting stuff, ranging from bishops celebrating Masses Kansas City and Milwaukee and Birmingham and Cardinal Hoyos in Loreto – to parishes and priests trying things out to private Masses being heard, as it turns out, by far more than the priest and a server.
One bishop outside of Naples, however, will have none of it:
Caserta bishop prohibits traditional Mass –
Parish priest obeys but says he disagrees
By Angelo Agrippa
Corriere del Mezzogiorno
NAPLES – He is known as the bishop of tolerance. Of immigrants. Of deprived persons. He has opened diocesan structures for Muslims to say their Friday prayers, and Ukrainian/Moldavian Orthodox to use for their worship.
But now he has prohibited the celebration of the 1962 Mass restored as of September 14 by Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
With a telephone call, Mons. Raffaele Nogaro ordered the rector of the Shrine of Sant’Anna in Caserta, Don Giovanni Battista Gionti, to stop the Mass he was planning to celebrate at 8 p.m. today.
“This case has nothing to do with tolerance,” Nogaro said later.
“The Mass in Latin is a distortion of religious fact. Not even university professors who teach Latin pray in Latin. It is not an appropriate instrument for establishing a true relationship with God. To help people to pray is an honorable effort. That is what I try to do in allowing the Tent of Abraham to be used by Muslims and the chapel next to the Cathedral, to be used by the Orthodox.“But to assail the faithful with sacred images, theatrical choreography and esthetic embellishments does the opposite. The faithful should be offered something valid and educational, not an occasion for disorientation. In short, murmuring prayers in Latin is good for nothing.”
Strong words. A clear dissociation from Pope Benedict XVI’s decree regarding the traditional Mass.
“The authority for the theological, liturgical and moral correctness of a diocese is the bishop,” Nogaro continued, “even if the Pope has decreed an opening in favor of other rites. I am the only bishop in Campania who has asserted this so far to control the application of the Papal decree.“Besides, the request of 30-40 persons is not sufficient in order for the traditional Mass to be celebrated. The parish priest is obliged to report it to his bishop. And I was never informed.”
In his sacristy, Don Gionti is surrounded by many of those who had requested him for the traditional Mass, and is visibly disconcerted: “I will obey the bishop,” he said, “even if this loses us the occasion for a liturgical experience that is important for our community, many of whom requested this. I considered it an experiment, certainly not a replacement for the post-Conciliar Mass.
“I think a priest should respond to a request by his congregation. But the bishop has ordered me to suspend the scheduled Mass, telling me that this would create a dangerous precedent. Though I still do not understand what danger he means.”
If any of you assisted at a Mass in this form – a Mass newly scheduled as the result of the MP, preferably – let us know in the comments.