Rorate Caeli

Letter of Belarusian Catholics in Minsk-Mohilev petitioning for a TLM in honor of Our Lady of Budslau

From our friends in Una Voce Russia:
This letter was sent by the faithful of St. Barbara Parish in Vitebsk to Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev. While the diocese of Vitebsk and its St. Barbara Cathedral is one of the very few places in Belarus where Summorum Pontificum is implemented with several Masses celebrated in usus antiquor every week, the archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev still does not have any such Mass, except for those offered in the FSSPX chapel.
The letter concerns the annual pilgrimage to Budslau (a town within the archdiocese), the greatest event in Belarus’ Catholic life every year.
Translated from Belarussian by Oleg-Michael Martynov, Una Voce Russia.
St. Barbara Roman Catholic Parish
Belarus 210001, 27 Leningradskaya Ulitsa, Vitebsk
+375 212 349 654
Your Excellency, Most Reverend Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz,
Last year and again in April 2009 we the faithful of Vitebsk's parishes, adherent to Catholic liturgical tradition, have addressed Your Excellency asking for a Holy Mass in the so-called Tridentine Rite (or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) to which Holy Father Benedict XVI has given the "green light" in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, to be offered in the celebrations to honor Our Lady of Budslau.
However, we have been greatly saddened to learn that even in this year, when about 90 signatures of faithful have been sent to the Curia (a condition that Your Excellency had mentioned in the previous year), our request has not been not granted for unknown reasons, because,for example, the Mass could fit in the schedule on July 1, between 7 and 9 PM. There also was no necessity to celebrate it on the central altar, since the smaller one in the old church could be used as well.
We think that Pope Benedict XVI would be very disappointed if informed that our request remains unanswered, especially after the Belarussian Conference of Catholic Bishops with the Reverend Episcopate addressed a letter to Pope Benedict, assuring him of their faithfulness to the Holy Father's teaching.
We hope the lack of a positive response thus far has occurred due to an accident, which is why we again ask to be informed of the possible time and place where such a Holy Mass could be celebrated. With this we would like to show that, together with the services in Greek Catholic rite, the Catholic Church truly exhibits the "unity in diversity" which is an essential part of Her mission.
Remembering Your Excellency in our prayers, respectfully and requesting your blessing,
the faithful of St. Barbara Parish
June 14, 2009


  1. Archbishop Kondrusiewicz has always been hostile to Tradition. The Catholics of Belarus shouldn't waste any time writing to you and should complain to the Ecclesia Dei commission instead.

  2. Anonymous6:33 PM

    What a mysterious time in which we live.

    Could anybody have believed that the day would arrive when Catholics would have to plead with their own spirituals Fathers to assist at the Traditional Roman Liturgy?

    How on earth did we arrive at this shocking, disturbing and mysterious time in Church history?

    What kind of men govern our Church?


  3. Eugene, they are not allowed to write to the Ecclesia Dei commission before they had written to Archbishop Kondrusiewicz. The Code of Canon Law urges not to skip any level of ecclesiastic hierarchy while you complain or ask about something.

    Now, when they did not receive any answer from Kondrusiewicz, they could write to Ecclesia Dei. And I hope they will.

  4. Anonymous7:43 PM

    New Catholic,

    Seeing St. Thomas' face still prominent on the header, I thought if it hadn't occurred to you, before it's too late you might like to post something to mark the actual date of his martyrdom.

    Just a suggestion!

    ~ Belloc

  5. Thank you, Rosenblum. I stand chastened and rebuked! :) But seriously, a few years ago I spoke with Archbishop Kondrusiewicz about allowing Latin Mass in his diocese while he was still in Moscow, Russia. He is one of those raging modernists for whome Vatican II is a sacred cow.

  6. Where have you been, William?

    Hey, NC, post the photos and presser I sent you! ;)

  7. Anonymous8:30 PM

    As long as traditionalists are willing to be treated like second class citizens nothing will change. Having to write such a letter is obscene!

  8. Anonymous8:36 PM

    I didn't think this was necessary anymore. I didn't think anyone had to grovel to the liberal bishops pleading for the Tridentine Latin Mass. I thought that anyone who wanted it could just have it, say it. Regardless of bishops.

    This bowing to the Bishop is ridiculous, when it is no longer necessary as per "Summorum Pontificum".

  9. Eugene, I know Archbishop Kondrusiewicz well. I live in Moscow. :) May be a glory to God, I have never heard that "Russian Orthodox Church has all means for salvation" last two years. But I condole with catholics of Minsk-Mohilev, who have such a modernist bishop now. I wrote only on the legal form that must be observed. Dura lex sed lex. As I already said I hope The Holy See would make Archbishop Kondrusiewicz to execute all Papal documents.

  10. Rose Bead10:48 PM

    Why on earth do Russians want a Latin Mass? What's wrong with their own liturgical traditional? They're not Europeans! Weird.

  11. Anonymous11:12 PM

    "Why on earth do Russians want a Latin Mass? What's wrong with their own liturgical traditional? They're not Europeans! Weird."

    If the Russians are not Europeans, what are they?
    Of course Russia is European. Russia is a European Slavic country, same as Poland is a European Slavic country. Russia is a vast Eastern European country. A small part of Russia is considered Asia, but not in the sense of a China, Tibet, or Japan.

    Mongolia(in Asia) used to be considered almost a part of the old U.S.S.R. (a satellite), but not part of Russia.

  12. Anonymous11:43 PM

    Rose Bead,

    There are members of the Latin Rite in Belarus and Poland for numerous reasons:

    -- Large numbers of Roman-Rite Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, and others have settled in present Belarusian and Russian territories or have been forcibly moved there (e.g. by the Czars or by the Soviets).

    -- Belarus and parts of present-day Ukraine formerly belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, whose rulers belonged in large part to the Roman Rite.

    -- For a time, there was no Russian Rite Catholic Church and many converts to Catholicism became members of the Roman Rite. There may still be some number of people who trace their Faith back to those conversions (I don't know).

    So there are many people in Belarus and Russia who are of the Roman Rite and not the Russian Rite, just as there are many Eastern Catholics in the West. Also, I know of Roman-Rite Catholics in the West who have become Eastern Rite rather than belong to either the Novus Ordo or Traditional Rite communities. Maybe there are Russians who for whatever reason have begun attending Roman-Rite parishes and like what they are receiving.

    -- Bonifacius

  13. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Why would you want the TLM when you have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom?

  14. Anonymous12:46 AM

    "the archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev still does not have any such Mass, except for those offered in the FSSPX chapel"

    Are the FSSPX masses some kind of second class mass? Whenever some faithful writes a petition to their bishops to allow the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated "in communion with the Church" the writers make this kind of comment. It seems to me that no matter all the struggle that the FSSPX makes for the return of tradition (in faith and liturgy) , an Ecclesia Dei or Summorum Pontificum Mass will be always be better and worth going to. If the Bishop like THE GREAT MAJORITY of bishops says No (and it probably will) the faithful can attend the FSSPX it was there before and surely will be in the future..


  15. Anonymous1:50 AM

    Latest news on reopening of Pauline chapel - renovations reported here before, its now open.

  16. Why would you want the TLM when you have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom?

    Perhaps because they are Catholics of the Roman Rite for whom the Byzantine Rite is alien. Think of the Eastern Rite Catholics in the United States during the early part of the last century who were told to become Latins or get out. People should not be forced to change rites to practice their faith.

    There is a reason Bishop Ireland is sometimes jokingly referred to as the father of the Orthodox Church in America.

    In ICXC

  17. Anonymous11:08 AM

    If the Bishop like THE GREAT MAJORITY of bishops says No (and it probably will) the faithful can attend the FSSPX it was there before and surely will be in the future..

    Well, they can even if the bishop doesn't say "No". But going to a small and modest SSPX chapel is not as fun as going to a diocesan Church. What will people say, you know.

    Also there are many wojtylians who are "attached to the Traditional Roman Rite" only and they don't care about ministry, other sacraments and doctrine.

    Writing for the second time to a bishop who doesn't want TLM in his diocese and THREATENING HIM with Pope (Pope Benedict XVI would be very disappointed - how can they know that?) can only drive him mad.

    Liturgy in his diocese is his job. The sheep are not to be in charge of the shepherds. That's what the bishops think, and they're right.

    Pope will have another enemy if they manage to make him angry.

    SSPX will have also another enemy, because every wojtylianist knows that only the evil Lefebrites can have such impertinent demands.

    What do the other bishops think about TLM? Bishop Dziemianko? Bishop emeritus Swiatek? Retired bishops sometimes become more friendly towards TLM than when they were local ordinaries. Maybe the petitioners should try to approach them. Of course, when their intentions are honest, and they did not write to the Archbishop just to make a fuss.

  18. 1. Russians are Europeans. At least some of us.

    2. Belorussians are not Russians.

    3. Still, Belorussians are Europeans too.

    4. Nigerians are not Europeans. Neither are the Malay or the Inca. Still they are all enlightened with Roman Tradition. So why can't we?

    4a. In fact, Latin Rite - and that includes its original, traditional, now 'extraordinary', form - is somewhat universal. While the other rites of Holy Catholic Church are more ethnic or regional (Armenian, Chaldean, and even Byzantine...), Roman Rite is good just for everyone.


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