For the promotion and dissemination of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Archdiocese of Malta and the Diocese of Gozo, as endorsed by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI (2007) and in the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011). This goes hand in hand with what the Second Vatican Council stated in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium of 1963: Linguae latinae usus, salvo particulari iure, in ritibus latinis servetur.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Communiqué of the International UNA VOCE Federation on Order of Malta ban of the Traditional Latin Mass
Rome, 13 June, 2019
The FIUV notes with regret the letter, dated 10th June, from Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (the ‘Order of Malta’), forbidding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (the Extraordinary Form) in the context of the Order’s liturgical life.
Since this letter has become public, we would like to observe that it does not accurately present the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Article 3, cited in the Grand Master’s letter, explicitly allows religious communities to have not only private but conventual celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form, without reference to the Major Superior (in the case of the Order of Malta, the Grand Master or the Prelate). His permission is required only in cases where the community ‘wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently’.
The Grand Master’s letter also neglects the right of the faithful, from which the religious and lay member of the Order of Malta are not excluded, from requesting celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Article 4). Celebrations in the context of special occasions such as pilgrimages are explicitly anticipated (Article 5 §3). Pastors and rectors of churches are directed to accede to such requests (Article 5, §1 and §5).
The Federation would like to emphasise that the Extraordinary Form is a part of the liturgical patrimony of the Church which represents ‘riches’ for the Church, which should not be neglected or excluded, and certainly not on the basis of a narrow conception of unity which excludes the variety of liturgical expressions permitted in the Church. As Pope Benedict expressed it:
‘These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.’ (Summorum Pontificum, Preamble)