Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cardinal Caffarra: Usus Antiquior Expresses Hermeneutic of Continuity

The Italian edition of Zenit carries a little article about a recent Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Bologna. In addition to the very positive tone which Zenit adopts, it is noteworthy for the letter quoted therein by the Archbishop of Bologna, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the leading moral theologians in the world, in which he affirms that the celebration of Mass according to the usus antiquior, far from being in opposition to the II Vatican Council, is, on the contrary, an expression of the hermeneutic of continuity proposed by Pope Benedict. It is not without interest that this takes place in Bologna, which is known for the "school of Bologna" of Church history, (one of) the most prominent exponents of the hermeneutic of rupture repudiated by the Holy Father (cf. this earlier post).

Here is the article in an NLM translation:

At Bologna "the Hermeneutic of Continuity" is Celebrated

Great success of the Mass according to the preconciliar rite

by Antonio Gaspari

ROME, Wednesday, 5 November 2008 ( - On the first of November, in Bologna, a year after the first celebration of the Eucharist according to the rite of St. Pius V, anterior to the liturgical reform, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra blessed the faithful who crowded the church of Santa Maria della Pietà.

In a letter sent to the faithful, the archbishop of Bologna recalls that "one year has passed since in joyful obedience to the provisions of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, I authorised the celebration of the Eucharist according to the norms of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum."

"I welcome the opportunity of this first anniversary - stressed the Cardinal - to send you all my blessing, and to assure you of my full appreciation."

For Cardinal Caffarra, "your gathering around the altar every Sunday to participate in Holy Mass is not a gesture that is opposed to the Sacred Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, that you fully accept both in its doctrine and its discipline. On the contrary you signify that 'hermeneutic of continuity' to which the Holy Father Benedict XVI calls us back".

"While I pray that your celebration may be ever more rich in spiritual fruits, I am pleased to entrust you to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church," the Archbishop concludes.

The letter was read by Fr Alfredo Morselli, who explained to ZENIT, that the celebration of the Eucharist according to the rite of St. Pius V, organized by the Diocese, "is growing and frequented above all by young people."

Furthermore, "in the last year - Fr Alfredo observed - in this climate of prayer and liturgical attention, three priestly vocations have already matured."

Fr Alfredo has said to ZENIT that the celebrations according to the rite of St. Pius V, and the number of faithful who attend, are multiplying in the Dioceses of Italy.

"At San Remo in Liguria, two hundred and fifty were the faithful who attended the Mass according to the rite of St. Pius V," said the priest.

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