Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum General Representative
What is the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum?
“It’s a humble work of service to allow the faithful around the world related to the extraordinary form of the liturgy to be able to celebrate in the heart of Catholicism, on the tomb of St Peter, cum Petro et sub Petro. It is a Committee, founded in 2012 to organize the first International Pilgrimage Populus Summorum Pontificum and a pilgrimage that has become a regular appointment, but always with an unmistakable imprint of the spirit of service and awareness to work for the benefit of all. We are not an association, we are not a movement, we are a committee that works for the pilgrimage Summorum Pontificum, born in the belief that a handful of people of good will was needed who would create the opportunity to allow many of the faithful to come out of isolation and the ‘suburbs’ to which they are often are relegated.”
What is the meaning of this pilgrimage?
“The sense of pilgrimage is the same every year: in 2012, in fact, hundreds of faithful who live their faith to the rhythm of the traditional liturgy come to Rome to thank Divine Providence of the incomparable gift of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, which liberalized the use of the traditional Missal. They thus show their love for the Church and the See of Peter; to witness to the perennial youth of the ancient liturgy, a precious instrument of the new evangelization, a constant source of spiritual renewal and of numerous priestly vocations. This year the pilgrims have especially asked the Holy Spirit to assist the Ordinary Synod of Bishops to show the perennial teaching of the Church on the family and Christian marriage as always alive and uncorrupted.”
As I have said before, many look at this world as merely people looking at the past…
”It’s a strange objection that hides a notion that everything that preceded the modern Mass is lifeless and belongs to a history museum, meaningless to the man of today! As if, for many centuries, the perennial newness of Christianity had not gone right through the Mass of St Pius V: St John Bosco was he not close to young people? How about St Therese of Lisieux? Did St Pio of Pietralcina not attract large crowds of simple faithful?”
Are there any religious congregations behind the pilgrimage?
“We are proud of the fact that most of the religious institutes ‘Ecclesia Dei’ participate in the pilgrimage and contribute with zeal to the liturgical service, although no one has special ties to the CISP. This friendly relationship with the Institutes ‘Ecclesia Dei’ does not detract from the fundamental characteristic of the pilgrimage: to have as its focus the Populus Summorum Pontificum, the lay faithful and the many diocesan priests who love the traditional liturgy”.
What are your ties with the followers of Msgr Lefebvre?
“As I said, the pilgrimage unites and gathers the faithful, the priests and religious who practice traditional liturgy according to Summorum Pontificum in parishes and diocesan realities: so this is a different environment from the world with which the FSSPX deals and therefore, from this point of view, we have no relations. However, each year some family belonging to the FSSPX joins us and we are happy because, as Pope Francis testifies, we look to the Society and its members in a spirit of Christian friendship and hope that it will be soon reconciled with Rome. Let us pray incessantly for this to happen as soon as possible.”
What is your relation with the ecclesiastical hierarchy?
“The relationship of CISP with the hierarchy are great and I see no reason why they should not be! Ours is a pilgrimage to Ad Petri sedem and the Popes have never failed to lend their fatherly message: in this year’s message Pope Francis made reference to “keeping alive the ancient liturgy in the Church …”; celebrants in St. Peter have always been eminent prelates and Msgr Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei, has always participated generously in the various liturgies in the program. However I am aware that many local Coetus Fidelium invoking the application of Summorum Pontificum have, unfortunately, very different relationships with their priests and bishops. The Pilgrimage is also intended as an indirect aid, but effective, to try to overcome their difficulties, and to support them – so to speak – in the good fight.”
“The Pilgrimage to St. Peter next October 30, 2016! And then a pilgrimage to Fatima in January 2017 for the centenary of the apparitions.”
So tradition is the future?
“The traditional liturgy is always young, because the worship of God is not a matter of age. Those who follow the Facebook page of the Pilgrimage are below 34 years old, the priests of our groups are often young and often very young. The spread of the Tridentine Mass has, in phenomenal terms, something of the extraordinary: suppressed, banned, persecuted for decades, in seven years it is showing an expansive and unstoppable force, despite the strong and sad opposition of some in the episcopate; and all this happens while religious practice collapses inexorably; no facilities, no means and in often hostile environments, the faithful, especially young people, are organized, they study, they fight, they network: but where you will find this dynamic field? If we want to talk about numbers, we could say that in eight years (Summorum Pontificum was issued in 2007) in Italy, for example, places where we celebrate the Tridentine Mass has grown from a dozen to more than 100: You calculate the percentage!”