Rorate Caeli

One of Rome's oldest running Traditional Latin Masses to be stopped?

The every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass in the Chiesa dei SS.mi Nomi di Gesù e Maria along the Via del Corso, usually known simply as Gesù e Maria, is scheduled to be replaced beginning on December 2 of this year with a Portuguese Mass. Ironically, this is the titular church of Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci, who said in 2009 that he always celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass since his ordination. The news has long been anticipated by various Italian Catholic blogs, and Messa in Latino called this week for a rally of Catholic Traditionalists in front of this church on the morning of December 2 in an effort to save the TLM, the Mass for which this church was built in the 16th century, from permanent eviction. 

The eviction of the every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass and its replacement with a vernacular Novus Ordo has been ordered by the Discalced Augustinian friars who run the church, which has a Mass schedule that is far from being full. The TLM in this church dates back to the early 1980's and has been taken care of by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest since 1992. 

While it is true that there are numerous private Masses every day according to the Classical Roman Rite in the Eternal City, not least in St. Peter's Basilica itself, the list of TLM's that is maintained by Inter multiplices Una Vox indicates that there are only eight churches in Rome (out of several hundred) that have an officially-scheduled weekly TLM -- an exponential improvement over the pre-Summorum situation, but also an indication of the distance which the restoration of the Roman liturgy still has to travel. It is against this background that the potential loss of the TLM in Gesù e Maria should be seen. 

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