Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla. celebrates a solemn high Mass in the extraordinary form at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington in April 2010. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
proclamation of the Year of Faith (which begins on October 11, 2012 and ends on
November 24, 2013) is a bid to mobilize the faithful on an unprecedented scale
for the New Evangelization. Pope Benedict XVI’s call is being heeded by
tradition-minded faithfulthose who regularly attend the celebration of the
liturgy according to the 1962 Missal, which was liberalized in 2007 by the motu
proprio Summorum Pontificum.
was reported in early August on various blogs and websites, including La Stampa’s
Insider, traditionalists from around the world will converge in Rome November
1-3 for a pilgrimage in conjunction with the Year of Faith, to support the Holy
Father and to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. The pilgrimage will conclude with a Mass in
the extraordinary form at St. Peter’s Basilica on November 3.
event is being coordinated by the newly-established Coetus Internationalis Pro Summorum Pontificum (CISP), the umbrella
organization representing various groups of lay faithful committed to the
implementation of the motu proprio, in particular the Foederatio Internationalis
Una Voce (FIUV, the International Una Voce Federation) and the Coordinamento
Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum Italiano
(Italian Summorum Pontificum’s
National Coordination Board).
have described this event as the first major gathering of traditionalists in
Rome, but this is not entirely correct. For example, as reported by Inside the Vatican (December 1998), a
similar event took place in Rome in late October 1998, with some 3,000
tradition-minded faithful coming to the Eternal City to celebrate the 10th
anniversary of the motu proprio Ecclesia
Dei Adflicta, in which John Paul II sought to facilitate the celebration of
the old rite by easing some of its restrictions. Una Voce was also among the
major forces behind that event 14 years ago, which was “far more successful
than most people hoped,” in the words of the group’s former president, the late
Murphy serves as both secretary of Una Voce and official spokesman for CISP. He
kindly agreed to the exclusive interview below to discuss the upcoming
gathering in Rome.
are the official spokesperson of Coetus Internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum. What is the purpose
of this committee?
The Coetus Internationalis brings together various groups of faithful who are
working in their own way in support of Summorum
Pontificum. To unite those groups in charity and to work in co-operation is
our first purpose. The focus of the Coetus Internationalis is to organize a
pilgrimage to Rome in early November.
are taking the opportunity of the Holy Year of Faith and the fifth anniversary
of Summorum Pontificum to invite
associations, groups, and movements of the faithful from across Europe and the world
to join us in Rome for an expression of support for the Holy Father and to give
thanks for the Pope’s “Magna Carta” liberating the Gregorian Rite. This is our
invitation to all the faithful to affirm our Catholic faith and our fidelity to
the Roman pontiff, to express our belief that traditional Latin liturgy is a
perfect instrument of the New Evangelization, [because of] its appeal to the
young and its universality.
pilgrimage will culminate in a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the
Roman Rite at 10 am on Saturday,
November 3 in St. Peter’s Basilica, the beating heart of the Catholic world.
What are the movements involved with the initiative?
The list of movements is growing almost daily. We intend to produce an initial
list at the official launch of the pilgrimage on September 10, but some
movements merit particular mention. I speak also as the secretary of the
International Federation “Una Voce,” which has given its strong support to the
Coetus Internationalis. Member associations of our federation across five
continents, especially Una Voce Italia, have been active in the work of the
excellent new initiative has been the Coetus Nationalis pro Summorum Pontificum (CNSP), drawing
together groups and organizations on the Italian peninsula including some of
our Una Voce associations. I would also like to give honored mention to the
very experienced and recognized French association Notre-Dame-de-Chrétienté,
organizer of the annual Chartres pilgrimage and the Foederatio Internationalis
Juventutem, the International Federation of Young People in support of Summorum Pontificuma well-known sight
at World Youth Daywhich
has confirmed its adherence to the Coetus Internationalis in recent days.
support of all of these groups and movements is essential if we are to achieve
our purpose of creating a unity of charity and cooperation among the supporters
of Summorum Pontificum, and
especially in expressing our thanks for
Summorum Pontificum and our fidelity to the Roman Pontiff during the
pilgrimage to Rome in November. I repeat that invitation to any group
supporting Summorum Pontificum to
register in support of the Coetus Internationalis.
Do you have any other details on the progress of pilgrimage, such as the name
of the celebrant of the closing Mass at St. Peter’s?
We are working as actively as the summer breaksacrosanct in Romewill
allow. The name of the celebrant will be announced at the official launch in
addition to the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, we invite each group that joins
us to hold a ceremony or gathering of their own in Rome during that weekend of
All Saints. To this end, our chaplain, Abbé Claude Barthe, author of numerous
books and articles on liturgical matters, will liaise with groups of pilgrims
and with clergy who will be in Rome on this occasion. Anyone interested can contact
our Secretariat at email@example.com or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You launch the pilgrimage officially on September 10, barely eight weeks prior
to the Mass on November 3. Time is short. How many pilgrims do you expect to
make the trip to Rome?
It is true that the deadlines are short. However, much work has been done by
the Coetus Internationalis discreetly over many months. The estimates that I
have seen give a range of between 3,000 and 4,000 pilgrims from around the
You mentioned that you are also secretary of Una Voce. What role has that group
played in this pilgrimage and what place does this pilgrimage have in the
activities of Una Voce?
As the oldest organization of laity working for the preservation of the traditional
Latin liturgy, the International Federation “Una Voce” was involved from the
beginning in this. Our network of associations and federations in 33 countries
across five continents places great emphasis upon working in cooperation and
within a unity of charity. It was natural that FIUV would be an early and
steadfast supporter of the Coetus Internationalis.
federation comes to Rome every two years for a General Assembly of Members, but
we were anxious to make a special effort to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum and to demonstrate
our fidelity to the Pope during the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage to Rome in
November will be an ideal opportunity to do as Catholics have always doneto
make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles, and to publicly declare their
fidelity to the pope.
Where the Coetus Internationalis is different,
and what should appeal to everyone who supports Summorum Pontificum
, is its freedom from division. It is a simple
act of love on the part of many souls in many Catholic movements that seeks to
include everyone in our visible expression of faith, of thanks, and of
fidelity. To all those who share our Catholic faith, who share our gratitude
for Summorum Pontificum
, who share
our fidelity to the Holy Father, and to all those who listen to my words I say:
come with us to Rome!