Tuesday, 30 May 2017

"Die Teilnahme von Kindern an Meßfeiern in der außerordentlichen Form des Römischen Ritus"

Erstkommunion in Stuttgart, St.Albert
First Holy Communion in Stuttgart, St. Albert Church
"Die Teilnahme von Kindern an Meßfeiern in der außerordentlichen Form des Römischen Ritus" ist ein wichtiges Thema für die traditionellen Gemeinden auf der ganzen Welt.

Lesen Sie hier eine deutsche Übersetzung des im Dezember auf Englisch erschienenen Positionspapiers Nr. 30 THE PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AT THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM.

Die deutsche Übersetzung wurde zuerst im Magazin "Dominus vobiscum" (Nr. 14, März 2017) veröffentlicht, das herausgegeben wird von "Pro Missa Tridentina", der Laienvereinigung für den klassischen römischen Ritus in der Katholischen Kirche.

Monday, 26 December 2016


View from the choir loft,
St William of York, Reading,
with the FSSP

Since the Extraordinary Form attracts many young families, celebrations are often characterised by the presence of many children. The EF cannot be adapted to children in the way the Ordinary Form sometimes is, but it has certain advantages in respect to children, notably its use of non-verbal forms of communication, the predictability of the Rites, and the relative informality of the congregation during Mass. The powerful impression made on children by the solemn and expressive ceremonies finds a precedent in the experiences of children in Scripture, when they attended the solemn reading of the Law, were blessed by our Lord, and when they proclaimed His Kingship at the Entry into Jerusalem. These also point to the objective value of the liturgy to children, including the many blessings given to the congregation in the liturgy. Above all, a consistent experience of the liturgy, with adults offering a model of an appropriate engagement with it, is a ‘school of prayer’ for children, as for adults.. . . . . . .

The 30th in the FIUV Position Papers series, called The Participation of Children at the Extraordinary Form is now available in the FIUV Positio section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


Thousands of Catholics from France
and other countries participate in the annual pilgrimage
from Paris to Chartres, attending Holy Mass
in the Extraordinary Form every day.
It has been argued that the Extraordinary Form excludes the laity from liturgical participation by accommodating only a limited number of formal liturgical roles for the laity: thus they can be servers, but not readers or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. This claim is itself linked to accusations of ‘clericalism’. This paper shows that the formal liturgical roles are not intended to promote participation, but rather the worthy celebration of the liturgy, and the danger today, condemned notably by Pope St John Paul II and Pope Francis, is rather a clericalist ‘clericalisation’ of the laity, which seeks, on the basis of a perception that clerics alone in the Church have authority and prestige, to make an elite of the laity an adjunct of the clerical class. The clear demarcation between clerics and laity in the Extraordinary Form facilitates a strong sense of the proper lay role, of conforming the home and the worlds of work and politics to Christ. . . . . . .

The 29th in the FIUV Position Papers series, called The Role of the Laity in the Extraordinary Form is now available in the FIUV Positio section.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Obituary for Helmut Rückriegel by Martin Mosebach

An extraordinary man has left the earth. Standing at the grave of Helmut Rückriegel his friends conceive the whole truth of the discernment that with the death of a man there is a whole world that perishes. What pertains to everyone is most evident for such an overabundant nature as it was with our deceased friend Helmut. He was allowed to live a long life, and, we can say, to live in mindfulness and intensity. He finished the wine of life completely and entirely, including even the very last and then most bitter drops. Furthermore it was granted to him to maintain his entire strength of mind until his last moment; in complete alertness he witnessed his time and all its phenomena until the last moment. His participation in the world was insatiable; he was a pious Christian - the archaic term ‘piety’ in its comprehensive meaning like the antiquity knew it was adequate for him. A life in the presence of the supernatural and a joyful discovering of this supernatural in the inexhaustible statures of the created world - but without suppressing the reality of the mortality of all life on earth, he lived as if there was no death. 

Until his painful last sickbed he was seized with the fascination of languages - recently he started to learn Turkish, a language that is extremely far from all Indo-Germanic familiarity - joyfully entering into a totally different kind of thinking and feeling. I always wondered why he, whose sense of language was infallible, did not write himself. But in return his sentiment for the great German poetry was so profound that the verses of Goethe and the Romantics, of Hölderlin and Stefan George constituted deeply and totally his inner life. He was the reader and reciter that poets desired, drawing from a great pool effortlessly the most remote lyric creations to engender an awakening to melody and life. 

His artist's nature became apparent in the invention of his garden that he created in Niedergründau, the village where he came from, after the end of his working life: he cultivated rambler roses, growing into the old, partly withered apple trees high as a house, to create real snow avalanches of white blossoms; in May and June they were phantasmagorias of surreal, sheer beauty. Here, the gardener who planted hundreds of sumptuous roses, turned into a wizard. ‘Il faut cultiver son jardin.’ are the last words of Candide, Voltaire's wicked satire in which the hero, after having underwent the horrors of a world falling to pieces, is forming the conclusion of his experiences. And it was in this awareness that Helmut created his garden. The experiences of this great connoisseur of the art of living had made him learn, no less clear than Voltaire's Candide, that the earth is not a peaceful place, not a paradise. 

As a pupil and young man during the years of Nazism he thanked his teachers for the discernment that Germany was ruled by criminals; in these years he also experienced the Catholic Church as a place of resistance against the despotism. As a diplomat he travelled widely; but his most important positions for him were in New York and Israel - in the Holy Land, this small spot of earth, where also in his life all spiritual and demonic forces that agitate us as well today, collide; there he found the proximity of the truth of his faith, especially there, where it seemed to be completely unreachable. And very early he discovered for him the obligation to serve the Roman Catholic Church, his mother, for whom he saw himself as a faithful son, in her great crisis in which she had fallen after the Second Vatican Council. Helmut Rückriegel, who loved the oriental Churches, especially the Orthodoxy, the friend of many Jews, who - together with his friend, the great Annemarie Schimmel, admired the Sufism; he was a Catholic, as ‘the tree is green’ to say it with a word of Carl Schmitt. From his universal culture, from his enthusiasm for the masterworks of language, from his detailed knowledge of history and the cultures of the world Helmut Rückriegel was convinced that the Roman Church was - by its cult which has been transmitted from the late antiquity - a melting pot of all beauty and holiness that is possible on earth. In a decades-long friendship with Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI., he helped to ensure that the Church did not completely abandon this treasure that belongs not to her alone, but to the whole mankind. 

Helmut Rückriegel the diplomat must occasionally have been rather undiplomatic - he was full of passion, a battler who did not spare himself and his adversaries. A man made for being happy - but still often enough desperate of the vainness of all struggles of the best, putting up resistance against the spirit of the times. The old Helmut Rückriegel did not become wise of age - a wonderful trait he had and that conjoined him with his younger friends. A consistent one, also in his matrimony that lasted nearly fifty years: after his rich life that she shared for so long with him, Brigitte Rückriegel accompanied him faithfully unto death - for this long companionship and the synergy during the working years in many positions she is, as she told me, profoundly grateful, and Helmut's friends have today to be grateful to her for all that she did for him, especially during the darksome days. 

The cosmopolitan German patriot Helmut Rückriegel embodied the best aspects of Germany; to have known him is for me and certainly for many others an infinite well of encouragement and hope. 

[Translation from the original German provided by Dr. Johann von Behr]

Thursday, 10 March 2016


The apparition of Our Lady to Alphonse Ratisbonne
(1814-1884), a French Jew who then became a Catholic
and dedicated his life to working for the conversion
of his fellow Jews to the Christian faith.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI composed a new prayer ‘Pro Conversione Iudæorum’, to be used in celebrations of the Good Friday Liturgy in the Extraordinary Form. The prayer’s petition for the conversion of the Jews should be understood in the eschatological context offered by Pauline and Patristic, as well as more recent, theology, which foresees the corporate conversion of the Jews taking place in the final stage of history. It is in this way that the most recent official documents reconcile the Church’s universal missionary mandate with the circumstances of today, in the shadow of the Shoah, in which a targeted mission to the Jewish people is not envisaged. . . . . . .

The 28th in the FIUV Position Papers series, called The Good Friday Prayer for the Jews in the Extraordinary Form is now available in the FIUV Positio section.

In the country of the Cristeros, the Mass reemerges

The Polish edition of Paix Liturgique has published an interview with Felipe Alanís Suárez which we are happy to reproduce here. It was translated into English by S. Armaticus of the Deus Ex Machina Blog. See also the French translation. – FIUV.org.

For the Paix Liturgique, the journey of Pope Francis to Mexico was an opportunity to look at the condition of the Extraordinary Form (TLM) in a country with such a vast Catholic tradition. So we decided to conduct an interview with Felipe Alanís Suárez, that is, the newly elected president of the International Federation Una Voce and founder of Una Voce Mexico.

I – Interview with Felipe Alanís Suárez, the new president of Una Voce

1- Felipe, in 2009 thanks be to God, Una Voce Mexico was born . What was the liturgical situation in your country?

The history of the birth of Una Voce in Mexico in fact dates back to the 2006, although in fact the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) accepted us in 2009. At that time, the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVII was not yet published , and a traditional Mass was not celebrated in the diocese regularly. Nevertheless, the Society of Saint Pius X since the seventies, was working in the country and administering to numerous communities of the faithful.

2 How did you come into contact with the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite?

Not counting the childhood stories of my mother, the first time I learned something more about the traditional Mass was when I read an extensive interview with Cardinal Ratzinger made by Vittorio Messori (Report on the state of the Church, 1985). Today the Pope Emeritus, in his characteristic clear language communicated to us what was a deeper reflection on what was theological and liturgical. This awoke in me a critical look at the liturgical reform and a keen interest in the liturgy, which was passed on for generations, and it is not ad hoc compilation. For the Tridentine Mass, so perfect in its transcendent character which is so perfectly ordered, Catholic, led me search for the sacred. A dispensation of Providence allowed me to establish contact with groups of American Catholics from the Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, as well as Latin American priests of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, who came on pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the sanctuaries of the Cristeros. With time, I met some other people connected to the traditional Mass and wishing to participate in its dissemination. As we lived in different cities and we wanted to stay in touch, we used the internet. And it is also thanks to the Internet that we have established contact with FIUV.

3 What actions has Una Voce Mexico has taken?

Our first mission was to communicate with all persons interested in the traditional liturgy, so that as a community we can share the variety of good talents which God has given to us. In practice it was necessary to find and make friends with the priests, who were ready to offer the Mass. Then we worked on the distribution of missals to the faithful and the creation of sheets with the lyrics of the propers of the Mass on Sunday – very valuable aids. Once “we launched” the first Mass, we soon realized that it befalls us to  offer to the new communities help in strengthening their theological knowledge about the Mass and the liturgy. So we organized a meeting, which was the culmination of a national congress of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. It took place in 2013 in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. The retired Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, can to offer Mass at the end of our meeting. Gradually we did notice that the Christian people reacted to our proposals and found that many Mexicans, young and old, are interested in the traditional Mass. For all these Catholics, the deciding factor it is not so much nostalgia and aesthetic considerations, but rather more or less a conscious conviction that the traditional form is intimately linked to the fundamental truths of the Faith (the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross …).

4 What is the situation today, with respect to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in Mexico?

Today, when nearly 10 years have passed since the promulgation of the Motu Proprio, the Extraordinary Form is offered in Mexico in 10 dioceses. There is still much work ahead of us, but the direction is correct and the hope is enormous. For the majority of the bishops, they still have their blinders on and judge the traditional Mass traditional through the prism of the 70s and 80s, as if it were a protest against the alleged theological progress and a sign of a lack of obedience to the Pope. Paul VI is not very well known in Mexico and the texts of Vatican II are not studied. In contrast, a strong relationship connects Mexicans with St. John Paul II and his sacred person is a pillar of Catholic identity of most of the faithful as well as the members of the clergy. And that’s why the sad events of 1988 (Ed. note: SSPX consecrations) are in the minds of many, a reference point when talking about liturgical conflicts at the end of the last century. The situation in not the same everywhere, however,  and the traditional Mass reemerged at the time of the Motu Proprio in the sees of the cardinals. In Guadalajara and Mexico City, with the support of Cardinal Sandoval and Rivera apostolates have been created that have been entrusted to the Society of St. Peter. In Morelia, Archbishop Alberto Suárez Inda, recently elevated to cardinal by Pope Francis to the College of Cardinals, celebrated the occasion of the anniversary of his priesthood with the Missal of John XXIII. The same spirit of goodwill has allowed for the bishop of Chihuahua to guide the Extraordinary Form regularly, and has been offered in the Cathedral of Chihuahua.

5 In the summer of 2014 years the traditional Mass was offered in the largest seminary in the world today, in Guadalajara: does the Extraordinary Form of the Mass presently have this right to “permanent residence” in the seminaries of Mexico?

Unfortunately not yet. In any case, it is not a daily occurrence. Photos of the priest Fr. Romanosky (FSSP) who offered that mass showed that it had a great success and aroused great interest among the clerics. They (photos) show that the Extraordinary Form is slowly gaining a place in the everyday life of the Church. We know that many clerics, as much as possible here in the country, participate  in the activities of ministries of the fraternity FSSP. Nevertheless, even in Guadalajara the Extraordinary Form does not appear officially in the program of any seminary.

6 Any final words?

The Holy See confirmed the canonization of the young José Sanchez del Rio, who became a emblematic victim of war of the Cristeros. This young 14-year-old martyr is a glory not only to Mexico, but for the whole Church. To obtain the mother’s consent to enter into the ranks of the Cristeros, José cheerfully said to her: “I have never had an occasion which is so easy to win Heaven as has presented itself today.” He understood that engaging in a fair fight is a privilege and an opportunity. In turn, we, in the Church, which is going through a crisis, we also have a great opportunity to fight for it, to obtain for our Christian life more treasures, fight for it, which for him was the source and summit: the Holy Liturgy. For anyone who happened to be despised, marginalized and even humiliated because he simply wanted to praise and worship God in the traditional Mass, I would like to offer as an example the holy José Sanchez del Rio, that they may take courage and not dispare, and persevere in the struggle with joy, as he knew that the privilege is to lead a fight without bitterness, gently, and with the power and love, ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

II – Reflections of Paix Liturgique

1 In Mexico and in Europe, the reality shows that the liturgical resistance movement launched by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970, although fundamental and universal, accounted for only a tiny part of the reaction of the Christian people who wanted to live their faith accroding to the Catholic catechism and the traditional Mass. Thanks to the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI, the community “Silent” – in other words those who for 50 years have not spoken a word of opposition or rebellion and surrendered new liturgical and doctrinal norms, of the parishes and bishops – are reappearing with each passing day and more clearly being manifested throughout the Church and creating embers of a great movement of a spiritual awakening, liturgical and doctrinal likewise. Historically, this movement also involves the addition of the intellectual and cultural liberation from dictatorship of the mentality of the year 1968, that bit by bit, everywhere in the world is becoming visible.

2 We know that the people of this “Silent” community, as concretely and even scientifically described in numerous international surveys – from Spain to Germany, from Switzerland to Italy, where the undisputed, reliable, and consistent results have shown that 40 to 60% of the practicing faithful would be willingly to live their faith in accordance with the Extraordinary Form. In Mexico, the tragedy of the Cristeros meant that the faithful are often very wary of the Roman authorities (which explains the strength of the phenomenon of sedevacantism there) and the success of the Extraordinary Form is another example of this.

3 Although the Extraordinary Form, just like a floodplain, is presently available for now in only 10 of the nearly 90 diocese existing in Mexico today, do not doubt, that like everywhere else where this process started, the wave of the Summorum Pontificum will slowly but surely increase throughout country. The more that this happens, gradually and the strong help of the Holy Spirit promised to the Church by Christ, it will be derived through the examples of faith and piety that will arise in the context of the offering of the Extraordinary Form.

4 It is particularly poignant when we look at the flourishing of the traditional Roman Mass in the land of the brave and holy Cristeros. Mass – the Christian ideal, which was defended at the cost of their own blood. Betrayal, which fell on them from the ecclesiastical authorities – the abandonment of the doctrine of Christ the King and his defenders – has its analogy in the form of abandonment by the Church of the ancient liturgy and the resisting  priests and faithful who have not agreed to erase it. Thank God for waking his faith of the Cristeros! Undoubtedly, thanks to the intercession of their patron saint today in Mexico, a hope is  being reborn, a liturgical – and also catechetical hope – and it will soon return peace. True peace embedded in doctrinal truth and justice to Christian souls. It’s obvious that without the real consent with respect to the liturgy, there is no possible return to a lasting peace in the Church.