Michael Davies President Emmeritus Report

Past & Present FIUV presidents meet Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome left to right, Eric De Saventhem, Ralf Siebenburger, Cardinal Ratzinger, Michael Davies Una Voce International Meets in Rome Report by Michael Davies President Emeritus, Una Voce International The 16th General Assembly of the International Una Voce Federation (FIUV) took place in Rome on 11th/12th October 2003. Delegates representing the majority of the thirty national associations were present and all agreed that the Assembly was not only a highly successful but even an historic event in the history of the Federation. It has provided the necessary foundation for an increasing membership and increasing effectiveness in securing the aims of the Federation in the new millennium. Day One began at 7 a.m. in the Basilica of St. Peter where, in the Hungarian Chapel, Father Josef Bisig, FSSP, celebrated Mass according to the 1962 Missal with great reverence. The Mass was served by Mr. Michael Foley who had made the long journey from Australia to be present at the Assembly. Three new associations. Were admitted to the Federation. The first was Pro Missa Tridentina from Germany, a large, dynamic and effective organization whose apostolate was explained by its President Mrs. Monika Rheinschmitt. Pro Missa Tridentina and Una Voce have been working very closely together for several years and the Federation will certainly be strengthened by its formal membership. The second new association was the equally dynamic Una Vox Association from Turin which earned the gratitude of every traditional Catholic throughout the world for its successful initiative in persuading Cardinal Hoyos to celebrate the Traditional Mass in the Basilica of St. Mary Major on 24 May 2003. The impact of this Mass, and of the Cardinal’s homily in which he affirmed that the Traditional Mass cannot be said to have been abrogated, and retains its right of citizenship within the Church, is still being felt throughout Europe and the world. Doctor Calogero Cammarata, President of Una Vox, presented a very well received account of its apostolate. The new Association of Una Voce Nigeria was represented by Father Evaristus Eshiowu, FSSP, as the lay president had been unable to obtain a visa in time for the Assembly. Some two years ago Mr. Davies had received a letter from a young priest in Nigeria who said that all the abuses we had in Europe were now happening in the Mass in Nigeria, and Pentecostalism was growing. Some people in Nigeria wanted to start an Una Voce association and Father Evaristus invited Mr. Davies to his parish. On the Feast of the Assumption 2002 a traditional Mass took place in front of a congregation of 3,000 people; some of whom had walked for two days and had slept on a floor outside the church. The President described how wonderful the Mass was and never in his life had he heard the Mass sung with such fervour. Father Evaristus’ bishop had given him land exclusively to build a church for the traditional Mass. Una Voce members and those from PMT had collected money to help – but, of course, he needs much more. To much laughter from the assembly, Mr. Davies said that Father Evaristus had promised that in five years there will be more traditional Catholics in Nigeria than in the whole world. The three new associations were welcomed by acclamation and much applause. Applications from four more associations are pending. During his report Mr. Davies revealed that the Ecclesia Dei Commission had wished 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, conducted in conjunction with Frau Rheinschmitt, the Federation made it clear that our members would not even contemplate accepting such innovations, which have now been completely abandoned. 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. In July Mr. Davies, and Dr. Turrini Vita, President of Una Voce Italy, had a long meeting with Cardinal Arinze, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. He was very friendly and listened to all that was said with great attention. He is under the impression that if the norms that he intends issuing before the end of the year result in the new Mass being celebrated without abuses, then opposition to it would cease, and so would the demand for the 1962 Missal. It was made it clear to him that this was not the case, and that with or without abuses the 1970 Missal is unacceptable to members of the Federation. Mr. Davies made special mention of Cardinal Ratzinger. Although his personal inclination is for a reform of the reform, and having the new Mass celebrated more reverently, the Federation is convinced that this will never happen. What were originally abuses in the new rite are now institutionalised; Communion in the hand was an abuse and it was legalised; Communion under both kinds on a Sunday was an abuse and it was legalised; the use of altar girls was an abuse and it was legalised. Such practices re no longer considered abuses, and will never be changed. Cardinal Ratzinger 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 has sent a message of congratulation to the Federation for all the work we are doing to have the traditional Mass celebrated. Although it does not come within the scope of the aims of the Federation , Mr. Davies felt bound to offer public thanks to the Cardinal for his uncompromising defence of and affirmation of Catholic teaching on faith and morals. Throughout his time as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he has issued a series of documents of unimpeachable orthodoxy making it clear that Our Lord is still with His Church in accordance with His promise to be with it all days even unto the consummation of the world. Unfortunately very few Catholics read these documents from the Congregation. Mr. Davies considered the progress of our Federation and the traditionalist movement in general during the past decade to have been amazing, almost 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 the traditional Mass seemed to be the mother of all lost causes, who would have imagined 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 must also be made of the so-called Indult Masses being celebrated throughout the world by diocesan and religious priests. Mr. Davies gave just one example – that of St. John Cantius in Chicago where over a thousand faithful assist at the two traditional Masses celebrated there each Sunday. The most encouraging development since 1970 is the recognition given to the traditional priests of the Diocese of Campos. 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. The Ecclesia Dei Commission has conceded that assistance at Masses of the SSPX fulfils the Sunday obligation. Mr. Davies was encouraged by the fact that the traditionalist movement is attracting so many young people that it might almost be termed a youth movement. The most dramatic manifestation of the youthful nature of our movement is the annual Chartres Pilgrimage during which 15,000 young people with an average age of 20, march 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 his presidency and he prayed that it would be the motivating principle of his successor. Mr. Davies concluded by saying that the delegates were honoured to have Dr. Eric de Saventhem present at the Assembly. His thirty year 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 fact that the traditional Mass in St. Peter’s that morning must have been a cause of particular satisfaction for Dr. de Saventhem. A new Council and President were elected, Mr. Davies having resigned for health reasons. Mr. Ralf Siebenbürger, President of Una Voce Austria, was elected as President and warmly congratulated by all present. Mr. Leo Darroch was re-elected as Secretary, and Mr. Fred Haehnel was re-elected as Treasurer. Both were thanked very warmly by Mr. Davies for the great contribution they had made to efficient running of the Federation during the past year. Resolutions were passed relating to future action on the part of the Council. It was agreed unanimously to put the Federation under the protection of St. Gregory the Great, that new President is to set up sub-committees of the Federation Council to study the questions of a possible Apostolic Administration and the possible use of propers of newly canonised saints within the 1962 Missal. The advice of the priestly societies will be sought. The Holy See is to be requested to provide public confirmation of the fact that the 1986 Commission of Cardinals had voted unanimously that priests who wish to celebrate in Latin can choose freely between the |Missals of 1962 and 1970. The delegates re-affirmed unanimously the commitment of the Federation to the celebration of the Traditional Mass of the Roman Rite as set out in the Typical Edition of 1962 without any of the changes found in the 1965 edition of the Missal, and subsequent liturgical legislation. On Sunday 12th October a truly magnificent Solemn Mass was celebrated for the delegates in the Church of Gesu P Maria in the Via Corso by priests of the Institute of Christ the King With numerous other priests, including members of the Fraternity of St. Peter, present in the sanctuary together with members of orders of chivalry. At the Open Forum in the afternoon a series of reports was delivered by members and guests of the Federation. The first and most fascinating was by Count Neri on the support which traditionalist Catholics of the Roman Rite are receiving from members of the Orthodox Church. The delegates were left spellbound. Other speakers included Father Arnaud Devillers of the Fraternity of Peter, Father Olazabal of the Institute of Christ the King, Father Gerald Goesche of the Institute of St. Philip Neri in Berlin, Father Evaristus Eshiowu on his apostolate in Nigeria, together with other speakers. In every case the story was one of expansion and progress which enabled the delegates to return to their countries in a truly buoyant mood. On Monday 13th October Dr. De Saventhem, Mr. Davies , and Mr. Siebenbürger were granted an audience by Cardinal Ratzinger during which His Eminence received their thanks for the consistent support he has given to those attached to the 1962 Missal, and to discuss a number of issues relating to the apostolate of the Federation. Following the private audience the Cardinal met a group of officers of the Federation, including Fra Fredrick Crichton Stuart, the Federation Vice- President, Mr. Leo Darroch the Federation Secretary, Mr. Fred Haehnel the Federation Treasurer, and Frau Monika Rheinschmitt. Christopher Haehnel, who had accompanied his father to Rome, dearly wished to meet Cardinal Ratzinger, to have his photograph taken with him, and to present him with a Tee-Shirt from the “Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club”. Mr. Davies presented the Tee Shirt during the private audience, and it was accepted by the Cardinal with great good humour. “Very true,” he remarked apropos the words : “Truth is not decided by a majority vote.” Christopher Haehnel achieved his ambition, and was introduced to the Cardinal with whom he was photographed. Somehow or other this seemed to be a fitting conclusion to the highly successful 16th General Assembly of the International Una Voce Federation