ROME (LifeSiteNews) — As rumors of impending restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass grow, a group devoted to the traditional liturgy has organized a display of several dozen billboards promoting the ancient liturgy, positioned in numerous streets around the Vatican.
Beginning March 28 and set to last for 15 days, the 35 billboards are positioned in several streets around the Vatican. Each bearing different inscriptions, all of the posters bear the same heading: “For love of the Pope. For peace and unity of the Church. For the liberty of the traditional latin Mass.”
The posters contain quotations from Popes Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and Pius V, defending the Church’s tradition and ancient liturgy.
“We decree and declare that these letters at no time shall be revoked or diminished, but always stable and valid shall persevere in their force,” reads one, quoting from Pius V’s papal bull Quo Primum, by which he promulgated the traditional liturgy for the Church.
Another contains a passage from John Paul II’s September 2001 address to the Congregation for Divine Worship, in which he stated that:
In the Roman Missal of Saint Pius V, as in several Eastern liturgies, there are very beautiful prayers through which the priest expresses the most profound sense of humility and reverence before the Sacred Mysteries: they reveal the very substance of the Liturgy.
A third presents Benedict XVI’s famous line from his letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum in July of 2007: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”
Meanwhile a fourth draws from Summorum Pontificum itself, reading:
[The] Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage.
Behind the campaign is a group of individuals devoted to the traditional Mass, spearheaded by blog MessainLatino, an Italian website devoted to defending the traditional Mass. In a press statement issued to the media, the group wrote that they “wished to make public their profound attachment to the traditional Mass at a time when its extinction seems to be planned.”
The public billboard campaign was born “out of love for the Pope, so that he might be paternally opened to understanding those liturgical peripheries that no longer feel welcome in the Church, because they find in the traditional liturgy the full and complete expression of the entire Catholic Faith,” they added.
The campaign comes as reports suggest that Pope Francis and CDW Prefect Cardinal Arthur Roche are likely to issue yet another document restricting the traditional liturgy. According to respected Vatican journalist Dr. Robert Moynihan, a forthcoming decree by Francis against the traditional Mass will not only contain a “further suppression of the TLM,” but will also “carry the ‘weight’ of an Apostolic Exhortation.”
The news was first reported in mid-January by German-language website Summorum Pontificum, and subsequent reports suggest April 3 as a possible release date for the rumored document, which is the date on which Pope Paul VI issued his new Missale Romanum in 1969.
Addressing these restrictions on the traditional Mass, which have become increasingly prevalent since Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes of July 2021, the group wrote that “the growing hostility towards the traditional liturgy finds no justification on either a theological or pastoral level.”
Continuing, they added:
The communities that celebrate the liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal are not rebels against the Church. On the contrary, blessed by steady growth in lay faithful and priestly vocations, they constitute an example of steadfast perseverance in Catholic faith and unity, in a world increasingly insensitive to the Gospel, and an ecclesial context increasingly yielding to disintegrating impulses.
Referencing this “steadfast perseverance in Catholic faith and unity,” the group lamented the “attitude of rejection” which priests now have to practice in order to be in line with Francis.
The attitude of rejection with which their own pastors are forced to treat these communities today is not only reason for bitter sorrow, which these faithful strive to offer for the purification of the Church, but also constitutes a grave injustice. In the face of this injustice, charity itself demands that we not remain silent: for ‘indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed’ (Pope St Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, Book II, chapter 4).
They also highlighted the discrepancy between the different rules seemingly being applied to various elements in the Church. While the Synod on Synodality affords a platform for individuals strongly opposing Catholic teaching, the traditional Mass of many centuries is facing persecution:
In the Church of our day, in which listening, welcoming, and inclusion inspire all pastoral action, and there is a desire to build ecclesial communion ‘with a synodal method,’ this group of ordinary faithful, young families, and fervent priests has the confident hope that its voice will not be stifled but welcomed, listened to, and taken into due consideration.
“Those who go to the ‘Latin Mass’ are not second-class believers, nor are they deviants to be re-educated or a burden to be gotten rid of,” wrote the group.