Rorate Caeli

Official communiqués on Universae Ecclesiae
2: International Una Voce Federation and a history of the struggle

2. International Una Voce Federation:
FIUV Statement in Response to the Publication of Universae Ecclesiae.

The publication of the document Universae Ecclesiae on 13th May 2011 has generated much comment and been the subject of detailed analysis in the media. The International Federation Una Voce would like to present a different perspective on this document which it welcomes enthusiastically.

The Una Voce movement started in late 1964, before the end of the Second Vatican Council, to ensure the retention of the age-old Latin language for the celebration of the Holy Mass. National societies were formed and the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) came into being formally in 1967.
In 1970, following the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, the emphasis had changed and the members of the Una Voce Federation decided to strive for the preservation of the traditional Roman rite as decreed by the Council Fathers in Sacrosanctum Concilium (Art. 4), the document on the liturgy.

In 1970, Dr Eric de Saventhem, the first President of the FIUV, said that the suppression of the traditional Mass had been achieved de facto only and not de jure. It would be unthinkable, he said, for the older form of Mass to be forbidden as one would have to argue that it had been wrong or bad – either doctrinally or pastorally.

In 1984 the Indult Quattuor Abhunc Annos of Pope John Paul II granted a partial relaxation for the celebration of the traditional Mass which was a small step forward. In 1988 the Indult Ecclesia Dei Adflicta was more generous but the difficulty remained that a bishop’s permission was required and in most instances this was not forthcoming. The situation remained very unsatisfactory – both for priests and laity.

When Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005 he asked that people pray for him that he may not flee for fear of the wolves. Notwithstanding the great obstacles being faced, the Holy Father promulgated the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in July 2007 and affirmed the right of all priests of the Roman rite to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass, thus confirming the position of the Una Voce Federation since 1970 that the traditional Mass may have been suppressed de facto but not de jure. To their shame, some in the Church refused to accept the will of the Holy Father and the legitimate aspirations of many of the faithful and were determined to undermine this Motu Proprio at every opportunity. It was this negative and obstructive stance that made necessary a subsequent document to clarify certain matters.

Although some have commented that Universae Ecclesiae still leaves some questions unclear, what is perfectly clear is that the Holy Father has fully restored to the universal Church the traditional Roman rite as enshrined in the liturgical books of 1962, that the rubrics in force in 1962 must be strictly observed, and that Latin and the Usus Antiquior must be taught in seminaries where there is a pastoral need. And this pastoral need must be determined by those who wish to benefit from Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, and not be decided by those many in authority whose natural desire is to prevent their implementation.

The International Federation Una Voce has worked patiently and tirelessly for the restoration of the traditional liturgy for more than 40 years and is now witnessing a vindication of its fidelity to Holy Mother Church and the See of Peter. The Federation expresses its thanks, prayers, and admiration to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and praises his courage in not fleeing in the face of the wolves. The Federation also extends its thanks and gratitude to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and to those bishops and priests who have also striven, often in great difficulty, to preserve and foster the traditional liturgy for this and future generations.

Leo Darroch, President – Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.

17th May 2011.


  1. Christopher Douglas3:56 PM

    Una Voce is a wonderful organization, fighting the good fight all these years. Marvelous.

    But I see that they quote the English translation, put out by the Holy See (who did it?)

    "Where pastoral need suggests it"

    Fr. Z points out what it really says:

    "as additional circumstances demand it (adiunctis id postulantibus)"

    So, IMMEDIATELY, some translator was trying to water it down.

    Then, the Archbishop of Westminster noted that he didn't see any "pastoral need" in England.

    Amazing. They'll never stop trying to undermine the Holy Father.

  2. Latin probably wasn't Universæ Ecclesiæ's original language anyways...

  3. Hieronymous5:01 PM

    The Latin text never mentions the word "pastoral". Let's have a look at what it does say:

    21. Ordinarii enixe rogantur
    ut clericis instituendis
    occasionem praebeant accommodatam
    artem celebrandi in forma extraordinaria acquirendi, quod potissimum pro Seminariis valet,
    in quibus providebitur
    ut sacrorum alumni convenienter instituantur,
    Latinum discendo sermonem et,
    adiunctis id postulantibus,
    ipsam Ritus Romani formam extraordinariam.

    Ordinaries are earnestly requested to give clerics in training the opportunity to learn the EF, and this applies especially to seminaries; there, seminarians are to be appropriately trained [for the EF] by learning the Latin language and, when circumstances demand, the EF itself.

    The thinking is this: for seminarians to learn the EF, the vital thing is a knowledge of Latin. As someone who taught myself the EF, I found it very easy, because I knew Latin fairly well, and could just read the directions in the Missal as I went along. Latin is the vital thing; without it the EF is going to be beyond any priest; with it, the EF is just a matter of a bit of reading, and a DVD, and some practice.

    But now, what are the "adiuncta" (circumstances) which might demand that beyond a knowledge of Latin, a seminarian should have actual rubrical training in the EF?

    First please note: they are not said to be pastoral circumstances! I see no reason to presume that the circumstances in view are circumstances outside the seminary itself. So:

    Circumstance 1: when the candidate nears the date of his ordination. After all, priests never learned the rubrics until a few months before ordination.

    Circumstance 2: when a candidate is not sufficiently well versed in Latin to simply follow the directions given in the Missal, then he needs explicit training in the EF.

    Circumstance 3: the seminarians themselves request rubrical training in the EF.

    Any other views?

  4. As I understand it, it is the duty of the ordinary to ensure that there are sufficient priests properly trained in the usus antiquior for the Church to respond to requests for its provision. Therefore bishops should ensure that at least a proportion of their clergy are so trained.

  5. "Therefore bishops should ensure that at least a proportion of their clergy are so trained."

    But most of them will not do this - inaction will be their best response.
    Of the 500 or so requests in France for The Holy Mass in Latin most will be met with no response. Inaction spares energy & is very difficult to deal with.

  6. If ever there was a work of real patience it was the Latin Mass Society.

  7. Bernonius11:07 PM

    In fact, the Holy Father has NOT restored the traditional liturgy in its entirety; use of the older rite for ordinations has been restricted to institutes that fall under the authority of the Ecclesia Dei commission.
    It has been suggested in this forum, if I recall rightly, that the reason for this may be concern over the appearance of a division in the one priesthood. If only the men who concocted the newer rite had been so circumspect! Surely, if this is indeed the reason, this is a damning indictment of the revised ordination rite; if the notion of priesthood it embodies is incompatible with the tradition now, it was incompatible when it was introduced as well, and should have been (and ought to be) rejected.

  8. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Who cares which language it was conceived in? The Latin is the official language and the standard by which cases will be judged.

  9. Anonymous2:46 AM

    Forces should reagroup again as for Universae Ecclesiae but for the reform of the reform. This blog and others have a very important role to play here.

  10. Anonymous11:01 AM

    "Sig. Kiko Argüello (Spagna), Responsabile dell'Équipe Internazionale del Cammino Neocatecumenale;"

    On a side note, the Pope just today (Thursday), appointed this joker, Kiko Arguello, the head of the Neocatecumenical Way, as a member of the Committee for the "New Evangelization" headed by an equally liberal Archbishop Rino Fischiella. (remember him from the abortion scandal in Brazil 2 years ago).
    Kiko and his bizarre (to use polite language) group are will known to traditional Catholics, and the Bishops of Japan, as being a dangerous man and a heretical group.
    The Pope also appointed other liberal priests and groups as members of this "New Evangelization" commitee...namely the Superior General of the Salesians, Communione and Liberation members/leaders, and others.
    Not a single traditional/traditionalist group or priest.
    So much for the "New Evangelization". If these are it's members and emphasis and is and ever will be a failure and disaster from day One!!

  11. Gratias4:03 PM

    The single most important thing we faithful can do is to attend as many missa extraordinarias a possible. In this time of extensive travel we should also attend TLM in as many cities as possible, and offer our financial support. (Wikimissa is a great resource). Also invite your NO Catholic friends. Few will join you, but in my experience they are never offended.


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