MANHATTAN, New York, February 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Manhattan church will host a traditional Latin Mass conference later this month.
The Society of Saint Hugh of Cluny, an organization dedicated to the implementation of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, is hosting the conference at St. Vincent Ferrer Church on Saturday, February 16.
The one-day event, which will take place from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m., will feature a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn. It will also feature talks by EWTN Papal Posse member Father Gerald Murray, the Society’s own Father Richard Cipolla, and author Dr. Peter Kwasniewski. Priests will be available to hear confessions at 11:00 a.m.
There is no registration fee, although a donation of $10 per participant is suggested.
“I am tremendously excited to be a part of it and to speak alongside two priests distinguished for their outspoken witness to the truth,” Dr. Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews via email.
Kwasniewski’s talk will refute a number of common claims, including that the liturgy is in shambles because of bad doctrine and bad morals, not because of problems in the liturgical reform; that the Church is now recovering the right balance and getting past the post-conciliar mess; and that the restoration of the traditional liturgy would be just as disturbing to the faithful as the sudden changes of the 1960s.
“I will argue that the liturgical reform bears in its very heart the seeds of the Church's dissolution, and that the longer it remains, the worse our problems will get,” Kwasniewski said.
“My talk will go into the evils of liturgical arbitrariness (‘optionitis,’ as some call it), the fact of watered-down, dumbed-down content, and the dangers of the hyperpapalism that gave us both the Novus Ordo and Amoris Laetitia. Those who tinker with traditional worship will end up tinkering with traditional doctrine and morals as well.”
Kwasniewski said he hopes this conference will “stir up new energies for living and proclaiming the Catholic Faith in its integrity and fullness.”
Between the creation of the new Roman rite, which was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969, and the motu proprio, the old rite – or Vetus ordo – was permitted to Catholics only under very limited circumstances and with episcopal permission.
With his instruction, Pope Benedict restored the old liturgical books and calendar of saints to Catholics who desired them.
“The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is … to be considered an extraordinary expression of the … lex orandi [law of prayer] of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage,” Benedict XVI decreed.
“It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.”
In his accompanying letter to the bishops, the pontiff noted that the liturgical traditions of the Church have becoming increasingly popular with generations of Catholics born after 1969.
“Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them,” he wrote.
Benedict explained that this meant clearer rules were needed for the circumstances in which the Vetus Ordo or “Mass of John XXIII” could and should be celebrated and, in essence, freed the bishops – many of whom were hostile to the ancient Rite – from the responsibility of having to approve or disapprove its use.
‘The return to beauty, splendor, reverence, mystery and deep participation’
On its website, the Society of Saint Hugh of Cluny likened Benedict’s motu proprio to the Magna Carta, the groundbreaking charter of rights signed by King John of England in 1215.
“We believe that Summorum Pontificum is the magna carta for the return to beauty, splendor, reverence, mystery and deep participation in the Holy Mass,” the Society wrote.
“We believe that Pope Benedict has given the Church, especially the Catholic laity, this means and summons to capture the Tradition, not in some nostalgic or reactionary sense, but rather to rediscover the organic and living organism of the Roman rite and thereby reform and enrich both the Church and the surrounding culture.”
Advocates of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass report that an increasing number of Catholics, especially young adults and young families, are attending the Latin-language liturgies. The old rite remains controversial, however, particularly among certain bishops and the segment of the aging Baby Boomer population jealous for the liturgical innovations of its youth.