Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pontifical Mass (Extraordinary Form) at International Congress

From 11 to 13 April, the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need will hold its Third International Congress in Germany, where the organisation was founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten OPraem and where it still has its headquarters. Among the participants are Card. Hummes (Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy), Card. Gracias (Archbishop of Bombay), the Apostolic Nuncios to Germany and Austria, several German and Eastern (Melkite, Ukrainian, Armenian) as well as African bishops, Fr. Karl Josef Wallner OCist (Heiligenkreuz), Archduke Otto of Austria, Paul Badde (the journalist who had the scoop on the Motu Proprio) and many more.

While the Congress itself is a very important event, and Aid to the Church in Need a very praiseworthy and entirely faithful Catholic charity, what makes this interesting to the NLM is the fact that not only will there be at this Congress two Pontifical Masses in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and one in the Byzantine Rite (celebrated by bishop Petro Kryk, exarch for the Byzantine Rite Catholic Ucrainians in Germany and Scandinavia), but also a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
This will be celebrated Saturday, 12 April, at 9 am in the Pontifical Basilica of Saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, and the celebrant will be (after Cardinal Castrillón, who had initially accepted the invitation, had had to cancel) Msgr. Claude Périsset, Apostolic Nuncio to Germany.

To have an usus antiquior Pontifical Mass celebrated by a papal nuncio at such a high level international Church event is surely a significant step in overcoming reservations against the traditional rite and restoring it to its rightful place in the heart (or, to use a more prosaic term, in the mainstream) of the Church.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: