Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Head of Moscow Patriarchate Greets the Latin Mass after Serving the Liturgy Where Four Catholic Bishops Were Present

(Interxaf-Religion – Vertograd, Moscow)

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that provides more freedom to use the pre-Vatican II Missal 'is a positive fact,' the Head of MP Patriarch Alexey II said to comment on the Roman Catholic Church reintroducing her ancient liturgical form.

'We strongly adhere to the tradition. Without being faithful to her liturgy the Russian Orthodox Church would have failed to survive persecutions in 1920s and 1930s,' the Russian primate told the Italian daily Giornale on August 28, on the Feast of Dormition, after celebration liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin.

Four Catholic bishops from Italy were present at that liturgy, as Russian edition of Interfax-religion reports.

The patriarch opined that the pope's decision might contribute to establishing closer links with the Orthodox Churches, Giornale said.

The obligatory Latin Mass was abolished by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) when the Roman Catholic Church legalized liturgical use of modern languages hoping to attract more people. But the results were far from ideal, and the reform led to a schism as Archbishop Marcel Lefevre refused to accept it an faced excommunication in 1988.

Photo: Patriarchial service in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin on August 28, 2007. You can see Catholic Bishops among "Orthodox" bishops there.