FIUV Report from General Assembly

XVI General Assembly of the Una Voce Federation. Rome – 11th/12th October 2003 Report by Leo Darroch, Secretary FIUV A Brief Summary of Events. The General Assembly started on Saturday 11th October with a traditional Latin Mass celebrated at 7.00 a.m. by Father Josef Bisig F.S.S.P. in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Chapel of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (the Hungarian Chapel). After 38 years of unceasing struggle by such dedicated people as Dr. Eric de Saventhem and Mr. Michael Davies, our President d’Honneur and President, delegates at long last were able to attend a Mass in the ancient Roman rite amidst the tombs of the great popes of days and centuries gone by. We hope and pray that these popes would have smiled on our little band of delegates from around the world as we gathered in the chapel to bear witness, una voce, to the re-enactment of the Sacrifice of Calvary in a manner that they themselves had done every day of their priestly lives. Deo Gratias. New Members. Applications for membership of the Federation were approved for Laienvereinigung für den Klassischen römischen Ritus in der Katholischen Kirche (in short: Pro Missa Tridentina = PMT) from Germany; the Associazone Inter Multiplices Una Vox from Turin, Italy; and the Ecclesia Dei Traditional Latin Mass Association of Nigeria. Groups in Columbia, South America; in German-speaking Switzerland; and in Venice, Italy, have also expressed interest in joining the Federation. These applications will be considered in the near future. President’s Report. Mr. Michael Davies announced that this would obviously be his final report as President. He commented on the fact that also in attendance were Dr. Eric de Saventhem, M. Jacques Dhaussy, Count Neri Capponi, and Dr. Helmut Ruckriegel who had all been with him since the very beginning of the Una Voce Federation. As this could be the last time all these would be together he used the occasion to give a brief history of the Federation for those not familiar with the story. During his time as President he had managed to negotiate the admission of fourteen new affiliates from as far afield as Argentina, New Zealand, Singapore, Nigeria, Poland, Finland, Canada, and the Czech Republic. There are also four new associations in waiting. Mr. Davies assured everyone that the Federation does many things that often are not made public. For obvious reasons negotiations with the Curia tend be carried out behind the scenes. For example, the Ecclesia Dei Commission stated unambiguously that its ultimate aim is that of “integrating the traditionalist faithful into the reality of the Church”. It also became clear that the Commission wished us to modify the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, not only by adopting the 1965 modifications, but by using the 1970 calendar and adopting such practices as Communion in the hand. In a lengthy correspondence with Cardinal Hoyos it was made clear that Federation members would not even contemplate accepting such innovations. These proposals have now been completely abandoned and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is now proving himself to be a true friend of the traditional movement as was made clear by the Mass in St. Mary Major on 24th May 2003. When Michael Davies first met Cardinal Medina Estévez, until recently the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, it was evident that he felt that use of the 1962 Missal should be granted to all who requested it. He has now conferred the Sacrament of Ordination in the old rite, and has stated that on the basis of his personal research the rite of St. Pius V has never been abrogated. Special mention was made of Cardinal Ratzinger. Although his personal inclination is for a reform of the reform and having the new Mass celebrated more reverently, he has been unswerving in his support for the Federation and insistent that those who request Mass according to the 1962 Missal should be granted it. He even sent a message of congratulation to the Federation for all the work it is doing to have the traditional Mass celebrated. The progress of our Federation and the traditionalist movement in general since the new Missal was published in 1970 has been amazing, one might almost say miraculous. In 1971 the so-called ‘English Indult’ was published allowing celebrations of the traditional Mass in England and Wales at the discretion of the bishops. Nowhere else in the world could the Mass of St . Pius V be celebrated with Vatican approval. Who would have dared to predict that in those early days when Dr. de Saventhem was President and he seemed to be working for an unattainable cause, and that the traditional Mass seemed to be the mother of all lost causes, that from the 1990s onwards Pontifical Masses would be celebrated by such members of the Sacred College as Cardinal Mayer, Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Stickler, Cardinal Medina Estévez, and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos? Who would have imagined that at the start of the third millennium there would be at least twelve priestly societies and monastic communities using the pre-Vatican II liturgical books with Vatican approval? Mention was also made of the so-called Indult Masses being celebrated throughout the world by diocesan and religious priests. Perhaps the most amazing of all, said Mr Davies, he for one, would never have believed that the Vatican would extend recognition to the priests of the Diocese of Campos. This is, perhaps, the most significant and encouraging event to have taken place since 1970. If the priests of Campos have been recognised we have every reason to hope and pray that the same recognition will be extended to the Society of St. Pius X which had 170 priests at the time of the excommunications in 1988, and now has 450, with new seminaries and schools appearing everywhere. It is also encouraging that the traditionalist movement is attracting so many young people. The most dramatic manifestation is the annual Chartres Pilgrimage during which 15,000 young people walk from Notre Dame de Paris to Notre Dame de Chartres, camping out at night. Chapels where the traditional Mass is celebrated tend to be packed to the doors with a high proportion of young married couples with many children. Contrast this with the abysmal collapse of the mainstream Church throughout the first world. Archbishop Lefebvre once remarked that our future lies in our past. This has been the motivating principle of the presidency of Mr. Davies and he prays that it will be the motivating principle of his successor. The President said we were honoured to have at the General Assembly Dr. Eric de Saventhem whose Presidency for almost thirty years is the reason that the Federation flourished and expanded during the decades when Catholic organisations throughout the world were dwindling and ceasing to exist. The debt that the traditionalist movement owes to him and to Madame de Saventhem cannot be exaggerated. Mr. Davies commented that the celebration of the traditional Mass in St. Peter’s must have been a cause of particular satisfaction for Dr. de Saventhem. During the lean years of the Federation when he came to Rome for the General Assemblies, he and Madame Elizabeth could only have dreamt that in 2003 our General Assembly would be preceded by a Mass in the Basilica. We owe this, more than anyone else, to Dr. and Madam de Saventhem. At the end of his report, the final report of his term of office, the delegates gave Michael Davies a resounding ovation in gratitude and thanks for his great work on their behalf. Election of a new Council. Following a secret ballot, as required under the statutes, the members were informed that the following had been elected to serve on the Council for the next two years. Count Neri Capponi (Una Voce Italy); Fra Freddy Crichton-Stuart (Una Voce Scotland); Mr. Leo Darroch (Latin Mass Society of England and Wales); M. Jacques Dhaussy (Una Voce France); Mr. Fred Haehnel (Una Voce America); Mr. Peadar Laighleis (Latin Mass Society of Ireland); Mr. Jan Filip Libicki (Una Voce Poland); Mr. David Reid (Vancouver Traditional Mass Society); Mr. Ralf Siebenbürger (Una Voce Austria). Election of a President. A further secret ballot took place and Mr. Ralf Siebenbürger, President of Una Voce Austria, was elected our new President. We all wish him a happy and successful term in office. Election of a Secretary and Treasurer. Under the statutes, these posts are arranged and confirmed by the members of the new Council. Mr. Darroch was re-elected as Secretary and Mr. Haehnel was re-elected as Treasurer. Future action. The Protection of Pope St. Gregory the Great: A proposal was made by Dr. Mario Seno that the Federation should find a great saint to be the protector of the Federation and its work. M. Jacques Dhaussy nominated St. Gregory the Great as our protector. Mr. Davies announced that next year, 2004, would be the 1,400th anniversary of his death. The delegates accepted the proposal unanimously that Gregory the Great would be the perfect protector of our Federation Re-affirmation of our Commitment to the Missal of 1962: The delegates re-affirmed the resolution of 1999 committing the Federation to the un-amended Missal of 1962. Mr. Davies explained that it was important to re-affirm our position because since 1999 the Ecclesia Dei Commission tried to make us change and accept some developments from the middle and late 1960s. Sunday 12th October began with Solemn High Mass at 10.00 hrs. in the Church of Gesu et Maria, via del Corso. The Mass was celebrated by Father Olazabal from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The Una Voce Choir of Rome sang the Mass. Present on the sanctuary were numerous priests and Una Voce delegates Fra Freddy Crichton-Stuart from Una Voce Scotland and Count Neri Capponi from Una Voce Italy. Both were robed in their capacity as Knights of Malta. Also present on the sanctuary was Christopher Haehnel, the 14-year-old son of our Treasurer, Mr. Fred Haehnel. At the beginning of the session the new President, Mr. Ralf Siebenburger, took the chair and announced that he had spoken to our President d’Honneur, Dr. de Saventhem, and had agreed to propose Mr. Michael Davies also as a President d’Honneur. This was endorsed by the entire assembly. The Open Forum. It is the tradition that someone other than the President chairs the Open Forum so the delegates agreed that Fra Freddy Crichton-Stuart, President of Una Voce Scotland, would chair this part of the Assembly. Count Neri Capponi: Ecumenism and Orthodoxy – Hidden Help. Count Capponi spoke about the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church, and, in particular, the traditional movement within the Church. Official report on the Traditional Latin Mass Apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in Nigeria. Father Evaristus Eshiogwu, FSSP., represented the new association in Nigeria. Unfortunately, because of visa difficulties, the President of the Ecclesia Dei Society of Nigeria was unable to attend so Father Evaristus spoke on his behalf. Father Gerald Goesche of the The Institute of St. Philip Neri in Berlin gave a talk on his journey from the Novus Ordo to the traditional Latin Mass. His journey took him from Bonn in Germany, to Paris, to Rome, to Le Barroux, to Austria, and then to Berlin. It was in Le Barroux that he celebrated his first Mass in the traditional Roman rite – which he described as discovering the Missa Sanctorum, the Mass of the Saints. He also described how Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos did all he could to help him establish his institute in Berlin with the status of something like a personal parish. Jacques Dhaussy – Una Voce France: Celebration in Paris of the Centenary of the Encyclical ‘Tra le Sollecitudini’ of Pope St. Pius X. Jacques Dhaussy described how Una Voce France has arranged a series of celebrations to mark the centenary of the famous encyclical of Pope St. Pius X on sacred music. There is quite a detailed programme of events which run from 16th to the 23rd November 2003. Sunday 16th November – Mass in the church of Saint-Eugène-Saint-Cécile. Thursday 20th November – A colloquium on the liturgy starting at 09.15 hrs and ending with Mass at 19.00 hrs. Friday 21st November – the colloquium continues at 09.00 hrs. and ends with Mass at 19.00 hrs. Saturday 22nd November – starting at 09.00 hrs with a talk on St. Pius X and the liturgy and ending at 19.30 hrs with a concert (Oratorio of St. Cecilia). At 10.30 hrs there will be a Pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, former President of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Sunday 23rd November – 11.00 hrs Solemn Mass of Saint Cecilia. 16.00 hrs Solemn Vespers of Saint Cecilia. This will be a truly wonderful occasion and an invitation is extended to anyone who would like to attend all, or any, of these events. If anyone would like a detailed programme of these events, including accommodation costs, please contact – * C.I.E.L., 11 avenue Chauchard, 78000 Versailles, France. Tel: 01 53 68 46 28. Fax: 01 53 68 46 27. Email: Website: * Una Voce France 40 rue de la Processsion, 75015 Paris, France. Tel: 01 42 93 40 18. Fax: 01 42 93 40 59. Father Olazabal – The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Father Olazabal spoke briefly about the events in the Institute over the past two years. The church of St. Mary’s Oratory, at Wausau, Wisconsin, was restored under the direction of Monsignor Schmidt and was consecrated by the Bishop of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, USA, on the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The bishop used the old rite of consecration for the church. Father Jackson, the Superior in America of the seminary of the Fraternity of St. Peter, also attended. At the last meeting of the priests of the Institute Monsignor Wach spoke about the importance of the liturgy. He explained the reasons doctrinal, liturgical and spiritual why we must retain the old rite liturgy and Father Barreiro of Catolica gave a conference about his most recent book about the liturgy. Two bishops in the USA have given not only a personal parish but one has given two churches for our use and the rector of the church will be nominated by Mgr Wach. Also, the rite to be used in these two churches will be the old rite. The Institute also has some houses erected in other countries. In the last year four new foundations have been established in France and there are very good relations with the bishops. The situation in Spain is a little better after the recent Mass by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in Saint Mary Major and the Spanish cardinal is more friendly with the priests of the Institute and has given a better place for the celebration of Masses. Father Arnaud Devillers: Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Father Devillers gave a very wide-ranging, informative and encouraging talk on the present situation within the FSSP. This year the Fraternity is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its foundation. The Society was founded on 18th of July 1988 at the Abbey of Hauterive near Fribourg, Switzerland and was canonically erected by the Holy See on 18th October 1988. This year, its International Headquarters has been moved from Wigratzbad, where it was with the seminary, to Fribourg in Switzerland. The Fraternity now has about 150 priests world-wide, working in four continents, and in about 15 countries. It is quite a challenge to supervise such a wide body of people with different backgrounds and mentalities. Not everyone has been educated in the first seminary at Wigratzbad; more and more priests have been trained in the newer house of formation in America. Father Devillers announced some good news which had not been advertised so far. The Fraternity’s constitutions had been approved by the Holy See in a definitive manner on the 29th June 2003. This is the text which had been revised by the 2,000 Chapter General. One of the significant changes is the introduction of provinces. It might take a few years before provinces are introduced since the constitution specifies that provinces can be introduced only by the Chapter General. This approval of our constitutions is a good reason to rejoice. Fifteen years is a rather short time for a definitive approbation of the constitutions. Usually, it takes many more years. In the past two years the Fraternity has grown rapidly, especially in France where it has been welcomed into eight more dioceses. In France there some new bishops who are more open than their predecessors regarding the Latin Mass in general and the Fraternity in particular. There are also about 50 French priests who make up about one third of the Fraternity. In the English-speaking world the biggest limitation is the (currently) limited number of priests whose mother tongue is English. However, the good news is that the seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lincoln, Nebraska, is overflowing with about 70 seminarians currently in training and a second dormitory wing is under consideration. There has been growth in Australia as well but we have also been limited by a lack of English-speaking priests. Earlier this year the Fraternity started to serve the city of Canberra where the priest is not only the chaplain for the Latin Mass but also for a local hospital. There are good prospects in two more archdioceses. In the German-speaking district, which includes German-speaking Switzerland, Austria and Germany, there has not been much growth except in Switzerland where two more apostolates have been started in the diocese of Chur-Zurich. Elsewhere in Europe the Fraternity is progressing eastward. It has just begun a new apostolate in the Czech Republic in the diocese of Litomerice, in the town of Teplice in Bohemia, near the border of eastern Germany. This country is quite dechristianized so it is more a missionary activity than taking over a well established parish. In Africa, a priest will begin work soon in the diocese of Natitingou in northern Benin. The young bishop of that diocese used to be an altar boy for a French missionary who was saying the old Latin Mass until he returned to France. The bishop loves the old Mass and would like the traditional Mass to come back into his diocese. He has invited the Fraternity into his diocese with one condition that it never abandons its specificity and that it keeps on with what it is doing. In South America three bishops have invited the Fraternity into their dioceses; in Columbia, in Bolivia and in Chile, but the problem is finding priests. Dr. Eric de Saventhem. The President d’Honneur gave a tribute to Mr. Davies, as he stood down from the presidency as his tribute was as follows: “I want to say a few words about a well known gentleman in our midst, Michael Davies. It is the last time we shall have him here in his official function – he was until yesterday, our President. He should be made aware, and that is what I am trying to do, of the immense debt of gratitude that we owe him. He has been very kind in what he has said about my presidency, which was a long one; his has not been as long but vastly more effective. It has been effective in three ways. Firstly he writes marvellous books, all in our thinking, and they have helped to propagate our ideas and have also made clear why we have these ideas. Particularly his historical treatises about how the Mass was destroyed under Queen Elizabeth I have given to the readers a background about what we are trying to say and what we are trying to re-institute. Secondly, he has maintained the financial status of the Federation because he is turning it over to his successor with about the same amount of money I gave him to start with. Thirdly, under his presidency, the number of federated associations has grown by about 30%. These are achievements that cannot be equalled, quite apart from the fact that he such a lovely person.” All the delegates present gave Michael Davies a wonderful round of applause to signify their complete agreement with the tribute accorded to their former President. It was a fitting end to the most heartening and successful General Assembly for many years.