Statement on the Motu Proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM
With great joy and overwhelming feelings of thankfulness, the International Federation Una Voce welcomes the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
For many months we have waited in prayerful patience and expectation. During this long period of waiting the President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the International Federation had numerous meetings in Rome with curial heads and officials and we were encouraged always to pray for our Holy Father; that the Motu Proprio would come, and it would be good for the whole Church. We were privileged to meet the Holy Father on 13th June 2007 and he assured us personally that the motu proprio would be published “soon, before summer”. Our patience has been rewarded and the Church has been given a great gift from the Successor of Peter.
In his Apostolic Letter SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and the accompanying letter to his Brother Bishops, our Holy Father has not only released the use of the traditional Roman Rite, he is also teaching the Church some important lessons. With great courage he has declared what many in authority (including our hierarchies) have known for many years; that the Missal of 1962 was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, has always been valid.
This statement, carrying as it does the full authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, effectively puts an end to the debate that has been ongoing since 1970. We can all now move forward in a much more constructive manner for the good of the entire Church. Also, with great clarity, he has defined the position of the Missal of John XXIII and that of Paul VI. By declaring these Missals as the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the same Roman Rite, he has arrived at a solution that can be embraced, with due charity, by everyone in the Church – bishops, priests, and laity – and hopes that these “two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching”.
Pope Benedict has stated that the positive reason which motivated his decision to issue this Motu Proprio was to come “to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church”. At critical moments in the history of the Church when divisions have rent the Body of Christ he admits that “not enough was done by Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity”. The International Federation Una Voce is deeply grateful to our Holy Father for his courage and wisdom and will do all it can to assist him in his desire for “reconciliation and unity”. The Federation is convinced that this document and the release of the traditional Roman Rite will be a source for renewal in the spiritual life of the Church. Therefore we ask all the faithful to accept this document as a sign of conciliation and as an important step forward to liturgical peace. Furthermore we ask all our association members to offer the Holy Father, the local bishops, priests and faithful all possible help to achieve the objectives of this Motu Proprio.
Renewing our deepest expressions of devotion for the august Person of the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth and beseeching the favour of an Apostolic Blessing for our Federation, we remain His Holiness’s obedient children and we assure him of our loyalty, love and prayers.
ir. J.P. Oostveen, President of the International Federation Una Voce.
Delft, The Netherlands
July 9th, 2007