Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cardinal Rigali: Philly seminarians to learn 1962 Missal

Through the grapevine, I've heard that things of this sort are beginning to happen in a number of places. Recently Annamarie Adkins, "'Summorum Pontificum' in the Seminary" (ZENIT, March 14, 2008), interviewed Philadelphia's Cardinal Rigali on his plans to begin instruction at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum and the 1962 Missal, as part of their regular course of studies.

"First there will be a lecture offered on the 'motu proprio' that elucidates the theology underlying the 1962 Missal," said Rigali, "so that the seminarians are afforded a clear understanding of the "motu proprio" and the Holy Father's pastoral concern for the faithful who have a deep love for the Tridentine liturgy."

Since nearly all of the seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary have grown up attending Mass according to the 'Novus Ordo' -- Missal of Paul VI -- the Cardinal underscored the importance of offering an exposition of the Mass according to the 1962 missal -- Missal of Blessed John XXIII.

"Studying about and learning the Mass according to the 1962 Missal will afford the seminarians an opportunity to experience the continuity between the older and newer forms," said Rigali. "So much of our faith is based on continuity and tradition, handing on of the faith from one generation to the next."

Quoting Pope Benedict's letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, Regali continued: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be of all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches that have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

Rigali said that the seminary is also offering a course for priests who wish to learn how to celebrate the "Mass of Blessed John XXIII" (1962 Missal). "Any priest who is unfamiliar with the extraordinary form, or who has not celebrated the liturgy according to this form for some time, will probably, and quite naturally, reflect on the manner in which he celebrates Mass according to the 'Novus Ordo.' Such a reflection is positive because it cannot help but lead to a more reverent and worthy celebration of the liturgy," he said.

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