Saturday, 19 February 2011

Summorum Pontificum: Milanese Seminarians Speak Out

Much to my frustration, a nasty spell of bronchitis has prevented me from going to the Mass and study day for the new Mass translation publicised in my previous post.

While needing to stay at home and rest, I have occupied some of my time in translating a very touching open letter from a number of seminarians in the Archdiocese of Milan, home of the Ambrosian rite which features in the latest disturbing rumours concerning the forthcoming Summorum Pontificum regulations.

The letter appears today in Messa in Latino, linked here. The comments that follow it - which I have not translated - start with a criticism of the seminarians' anonymity. Others consider the criticism to be unreasonable given the pressures under which they labour.

I think the letter is very inspiring. Here it is:

"Most Blessed Father, Dear Readers,

We desire the Motu Proprio in Milan, and we want it in the Seminary too, where, in contrast, we are given protestantising liturgies in the “BOSE” style.

Holy Father, Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, all the faithful, come and see how they celebrate in the Seminary of Milan, the liturgical furnishings of our chapel, the so-called statue of Our Lady (in a state of undress, seated before the Tabernacle in a sensual pose!). Please be aware of it. We well understand that times change, that history changes, but the hearts of the people need eternal answers; they need a Truth that is always the same: Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.

Why, as Catholics and as seminarians, can we not be formed in the knowledge of the two-thousand-year Tradition of the Church? We are not asking for the old rite to be imposed. We accept that it should remain as the extraordinary form. But why can we not study it officially, and celebrate and pray it occasionally, rather than doing so secretly, clandestinely, without the knowledge of the Rector and the spiritual Father, at night, in our rooms, as though it were an act of disobedience to the Church?

Instead, however, there is imposed a creative liturgical sensibility invented by the community of Bose, which is not our vocation, and is not that for which we chose to follow the Lord in the Catholic Church. We don’t want to be priests in order to live in the Bose style or to celebrate syncretistic rites. Those who have that sensibility are quite free to go to Bose.

We want to be able to chant the Tantum Ergo in Latin (which is against the rules!), and not only the canons of Taizé in English or in Spanish.

Is it possible that a person who thinks like this must live in hiding, keeping silent and pretending that all is well?

What evil is there, we ask, in wanting to be Catholics of the third millennium, evangelizers of our time, and at the same time to be able to pray as the priests and laity of the CATHOLIC Church of Milan have always prayed?

We confirm that we do not want to be absolutist, we do not want an absolute return to the Vetus Ordo rite, but we want real, authentic, non-ideological respect, towards the Church, Her history, Her Tradition, Her spiritual riches which can truly nourish a soul that wants to conform itself to Christ the Priest.

Our thanks go to all of you who keep us in your prayers; those who, like us, seek to follow the Lord, in the furrow of His Church, with our difficulties and our limitations, but illuminated by the splendid grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is our wish that this humble appeal of ours may reach the heart of those who love the Church and who wish to serve the brethren in the things that relate to God.

Saints Ambrose and Charles, intercede for us.

In Jesus and Mary,

Some Seminarians of Seveso
(Metropolitan Archdiocese of Milan)"

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