Rorate Caeli

Pope Benedict on Summorum

In his first public comments on Summorum Pontificum since its publication, on July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI had the following to say on the motu proprio in an interview granted during his Rome-Paris flight earlier today:

This 'motu proprio' is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, know it and want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy.

There is no opposition whatsoever between the liturgy renewed by the Second Vatican Council and this liturgy. Each day, the Council fathers celebrated Mass according to this old rite and, at the same time, have conceived a natural development for the liturgy in all of this century, since the liturgy is a living reality that develops and that conserves its identity in its development.

Therefore, there are certainly distinct accents, but a fundamental identity that excludes a contradiction, an opposition between the renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy. I think that there is the possibility of mutual enrichment. It's clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our times.

The official text of the interview will be released shortly; current translation provided by Zenit.