Rome, Madrid, Paris, Bern, Vienna, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, : what do all these cities have in common?
They are the capital cities of great and historic nations in Western Europe; and they all have at least one Diocesan Traditional Mass at least every Sunday.
Even the nations of Scandinavia, with their extremely small number of Catholics, have the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, as authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, at least a few times every month. That is the case in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo.
Is there any capital city missing in our list? Reykjavik, it seems... and Lisbon. Yes, the city in which Saint Anthony was born, where Saint Francis Xavier embarked in his lifelong journey to Asia...and thousands of other missionaries embarked to all corners of the Earth, where they celebrated the Traditional Mass, is a city with no Diocesan Traditional Mass.
Lisbon was conquered by the armies of the newly-created Kingdom of Portugal in 1147. Since 711 it had been a Moorish city. Yet one can say, with absolute certitude, that, even under the heavy hand of the Muslims and the hard tax of the Jizyah, there were more (many more) Traditional Masses in Lisbon than there are today! [Yes, according to the local variation of the Western Rites of the Latin Church, but absolutely recognizable as the Traditional Liturgy of the West.]
The Moors were much, much, kinder to the Traditional Mass than the Portuguese Bishops of today. In the whole of Portugal there is today just one regular Mass in the Extraordinary Form, according to the Motu Proprio: as Our Lady would have it, it is in her town of Fatima, in the diocese of Leiria-Fatima.
This does not make the position of the Archbishop of Lisbon, the Cardinal-Patriarch, less untenable and absurd: we have been told, and have been able to confirm independently, that nuns in a small convent in the Rato neighborhood of the Portuguese Capital (we have been asked to refrain from naming them), were able to get a priest to celebrate the Traditional Mass for them in the first months of the Motu Proprio - until the Cardinal-Patriarch went personally to their house to demand that it be stopped. It seems that the Cardinal-Patriarch considers that one Novus Ordo Mass in Latin celebrated every Sunday in a church in the central area of his city is good enough for his conscience.
The scandal remains: in the long list of Western European capitals, Lisbon has "pride of place" - not a single diocesan Traditional Mass. Until when will Rome allow the Portuguese Bishops, in particular the Patriarch of Lisbon, to mock the attempt of the Holy Father to improve the liturgical life of the Church?
Some Portuguese men and women are trying to do more to revert this calamitous and scandalous situation; we ask all our readers to support the work of the recently-founded Una Voce Portugal. [Link sent by a reader; based on reader's report.] We will keep following this situation.