Thursday, March 06, 2008

New altar at the Cattolica: another rupture with tradition in Milan?

Andrea Tornielli has a very interesting article on his blog about the "renovation" of the sanctuary of the Chapel of the Catholic University in Milan.

Some of our readers might remember that, some months ago, a single Traditional Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, notwithstanding a very strong opposition from the Milanese Curia, that is still refusing to acknowledge that motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" applies also to the Ambrosian Rite, and to the Roman Rite parishes inside the Archdiocese.

Here's a translation of Andrea's article into English:

It was celebrated in recent months, a "one-off" Tridentine Mass with a
thousand obstacles, in the chapel of the Catholic University of the Sacred
Heart, according to Benedict XVI's motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum". Fr. Gianni Ambrosio, chaplain of the Catholic University presided, against the "advice" of a highest representative of the Milanese Curia. Last February, Fr. Ambrosio was consecrated a bishop at Piacenza. That Mass has never been celebrated again.

Now, in that very chapel, which had retained its old altar, works have begun to install an altar towards the people. Perhaps, the works have been planned for years, but the coincidence in the timing jumps out and makes one think. The liturgical reform (and directions about re-arrangement of the altars) have, in fact, long time ended.

It is fairly well-known that, last January, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated
Mass in the Sistine Chapel on the old altar, without the use of the "mobile" one facing towards the people.

This is only the latest unfortunate step in a Diocese that has been known for months for its obstinate opposition to any move of reconciliation with immemorial Catholic tradition that our Holy Father has so much fostered during his pontificate.

This decision is also very much in opposition with the recent developement in liturgical studies, in particular with Fr. Lang's “Turning towards the Lord”.

Hopefully, NLM readers will be soon able to give their support to the Milanese faithful's request to liberate the Ambrosian Rite as well, according to the Holy Father's most clear intention.

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