Rorate Caeli

Implementing Summorum Pontificum in St. Peter's Basilica (Expanded Article)

According to Messa in Latino, Angelo Cardinal Comastri (in the picture at left), the Cardinal Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, has ordered that four copies of the 1962 Missal be kept in the Basilica sacristy.

His action was in response to reports that priests who had wanted to offer the Traditional Latin Mass in that Basilica had to find a Missal on their own, because the sacristy was supposedly without a single copy of the 1962 Missal, despite the fact that the Cardinal had indicated the presence of three such Missals in the sacristy. In particular, Fr. Stefano Caruso of the Institute of the Good Shepherd had written to Cardinal Comastri about this "absence", which prevented some priests from celebrating Mass. Of course, the Missals were there in the sacristy... but these were not being provided to those who needed them!

There is no denying that the situation for the TLM in St. Peter's Basilica has improved since the times of the previous Archpriests, Virgilio Cardinal Noe (who forbade it outright) and Francesco Cardinal Marchisano (who allowed the TLM under the terms of the indult, but only in the "Hungarian Chapel".) At present, celebrations of the TLM are not unknown in the side altars of the Basilica (I've heard of one priest who managed to celebrate the TLM in the Basilica for most Saturdays mornings for nearly a year), and there was the great Pontifical Mass of Archbishop Raymond Burke on October 18, 2009.

Nevertheless, some difficulties have remained, as this piece of news indicates. In his letter to Cardinal Comastri (which can be found in the Messa in Latino article), Fr. Caruso mentions that, when he confronted a priest-sacristan in the Basilica regarding the "absence" of the Missals, said sacristan defended himself by stating that it was the Secretariat of State that had indicated its desire that only the Novus Ordo be celebrated in the Basilica.

One cannot help but wonder as well about the fate of the library of liturgical books that surely existed in pre-Conciliar times in the Vatican Basilica.

(H/t for picture to Orbis Catholicus)