Topics: Diocesan Priest: Celebrate the Traditional Mass Exclusively?...Solemn Engagements: An Age-Old Engagement Ceremony
Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.
Soon after the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, three priests of the Diocese of Novara (Piedmont, Italy) tried to celebrate the Traditional Mass exclusively (we reported on these developments here and here).
In an interview released a few days ago, Father Alberto Secci tells his story, and presents us with the wonderful account of his life after Summorum. Yes, there is a life for diocesan priests celebrating the Sacraments according to the ancient use exclusively. And it can be beautiful, and powerful, and glorious, despite the normal difficulties of life.
"Can you imagine what would happen if all diocesan priests chose to do this?" This is the kind of weak argument one would expect to hear - it is not one that holds water, not with us, being on the same level as, "There should not be monks, for mankind would cease to exist if all men became exemplary monks": yes it would, but no they wouldn't... What we hope to provide by this example is that there can be spiritual comfort and consolation for that extremely small number of priests who choose to make use of their right of celebrating in the "Extraordinary Form" in a radical way. And why should that choice shock us? Almost all choose to celebrate the "Ordinary Form" in a radical and exclusive way, and they are not vilified for this. There is tribulation in these priests's radical choice, and that is fine: the priests who choose this path must be completely aware that they will be removed, moved, transferred, demoted, despised, mocked and ridiculed, made an example; they will have to give up favors, ecclesiastical careers, sabbatical years, special appointments; but, thanks to Summorum, they may face all this in perfect peace of conscience, with a Mass, that, in the words of a great cardinal, provides "greater spiritual fruit". And, as for the tribulation, if you may modestly allow us to quote a great layman, "they therefore, I say, that are in tribulation, have on the other side a great cause to take in their grief great inward comfort and spiritual consolation." (St. Thomas More, "A dialogue of comfort against tribulation").
Summorum is the charter of manumission of traditional-minded priests; it is good that those who contemplate making the same radical choice of these Italian heroic priests know that they are not alone, that, when there is a will, there is a way. If at least one single diocesan priest is moved by this translation to at least consider the possibility of following this radical path, then all our work here in Rorate over all these years will have been worth every second. This is dedicated to you, dear diocesan priests: if they can do it, so can you.