Thomas A. Droleskey
A reader of Catholic Family News wrote to me to say that a report in Inside the Vatican magazine claimed that the Traditional Latin Mass is offered on a “regular” basis in six churches in Rome. The reader mistook the word “regular” to mean “daily.” Indeed, the Inside the Vatican piece, which was sent to me by the reader, is misleading.
Among the churches where the Traditional Latin Mass is said to be offered on a “regular” basis in Rome is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major). There is a monthly Traditional Latin Mass, on the last Wednesday of the month, at Santa Maria Maggiorie, as I was informed by yet another reader who believed that I had used the word "regular" in my Catholic Family News article. There are Traditional Latin Masses offered on other occasions, such as the Feast of the Dedication of Our Lady of the Snow, at Santa Maria Maggiore. Those Masses are not "regular." They are irregular and occasional. Yes, the Mass of all ages is indeed offered in a major patriarchical basilica in Rome more than once a year. That is not to be confused with a daily offering of the Mass of all ages, as so many people seem to think as a result of the Inside the Vatican article (which would have helped matters considerably if it listed the times and the occasions on which Traditional Masses are offered in the Roman churches it listed).
My report in Catholic Family News about the availability of the Traditional Latin Mass on weekdays was accurate: there is at present only one place where the Traditional Latin Mass is offered “legally” (under the terms of the unjust and illicit 1984 and 1988 "indults" granted by the Holy See)
on a daily basis in Rome, San Gregorio del Muratori (which is listed in the Inside the Vatican article), Via Leccosa 54. Period.
One must indeed search far and wide to find a daily offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in Rome (the Priory for the Society of Saint Pius X is located in Albano, Italy, about thirty miles or so south of Rome; the Society's chapel at Via Urbana 85 offers Mass on Thursday evenings, First Fridays, First Saturdays, and Sundays). We had to search out a priest to offer the Traditional Latin Mass for us in his private chapel following our being infuriated by the omission of the Prayers after Low Mass at the "legal" chapel on Monday, May 17, 2005.
Of the six churches listed in an cartographic insert in the Inside the Vatican piece, only three, the aforementioned San Gregorio del Muratori (administered by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter), Gesu e Maria and San Giuseppe (on the Via F. Crispi), offer Mass every single Sunday. Daily Mass is offered only in San Gregorio del Muratori.
The occasional offerings of the Traditional Latin Mass in some places in Rome is thus quite similar to the "indult" situation in the United States: a few crumbs offered now and again (and under unjust and illict conditions), not a steady offering of the Traditional Latin Mass on a daily basis.
This brief notation is being made in order to clarify the record. The word "regular" is not to be confused with the word "daily." We pray that the Immemorial Mass of Tradition this may one day (and sooner rather than later) be offered every day in every church in Rome and around the world. We pray that the putative meeting between the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on August 29 may change the landscape of the Traditional Latin Mass worldwide.
If you want to assist at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in Rome on a daily basis at this present time, however, you still need to bring a map and a tour guide. You are going to need help to hunt out the little alley way, which is not on any map of the City of Rome, where the "legal" offering of the Mass of Tradition has been consigned on a daily basis.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Stephen, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence the Deacon, pray for us.
Saint John Marie Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.