Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

The following is from Robert Moynihan's Newsflash. Robert is editor of "Inside the Vatican."

Today is the Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

Three years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI, after long hesitation, published Summorum Pontificum, allowing wider celebration of the "old Mass." The day is easy to remember because it was on the 7th day of the 7th month of the 7th year of the new millennium = 777. An antidote to another, slightly smaller number...

By Robert Moynihan


A Song of Solomon

Iam enim hiems transiit;
imber abiit, et recessit.
Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra;
tempus putationis advenit:
vox turturis audita est in terra nostra;
ficus protulit grossos suos;
vineæ florentes dederunt odorem suum.

"For now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in our land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread forth their fragrance."

(The Song of Solomon, 2:11-13)

An Anniversary to Celebrate

Three years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" ("Of the Supreme Pontiffs," from the first words of the original Latin text), allowing the "old Mass" (the Tridentine Mass of Pope St. Pius V, codified and promulgated in 1570, 440 years ago) to be more freely celebrated throughout the Catholic Church.

And so one period in history of our Church came to an end.

(Some would say that one winter, and that a severe one, came to an end.)

A new springtime had come.

The Pope had long hesitated. In the months before the official promulgation, when the text was known to be already finished, but the date for its publication had not yet been set, officials in Rome close to the Pope confirmed to me that the opposition to this document was intense, and that the Pope was hesitating.

"You must pray for him," I was told.

And then, the Pope took his decision, and issued the document.

I still believe, three years later, that it was one of the most important moments of his pontificate thus far, perhaps the most important one.

And so, today, there should perhaps be a moment of reflection, and prayer, and thanksgiving, for what Pope Benedict decided to do on July 7, 2007.

Today is also the anniversary of the execution of St. Thomas More, though his Feast Day is July 9.

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