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The Third Semi-Annual Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in DC

The efforts to suppress the Old Rite cry out for reparation and witness from the faithful who love the Traditional Latin Mass. That is why it is so crucial that the response from the laity be fervent, respectful, and traditional. In the Diocese of Arlington and Archdiocese of Washington, drastic Latin Mass restrictions were imposed at the behest of the Vatican beginning in September 2022. Since then, the laity have organized two beautiful Marian processions. And now, our third is coming up on September 9, 2023. Beginning at 10 AM, we will process from St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington, VA to the St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, D.C., praying the rosary and singing hymns. Shuttles back will be provided, and Mass will follow at 2 PM.

This time, we are including a more scenic route that will take us past the Lincoln Memorial, White House, and other landmarks in Washington, D.C. As Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has stated,

The plan is for the pilgrimage to become an annual event, as long as it is needed, like the March for Life. As the MFL brought people each year from all over the country to DC, the hope is that this first-annual National Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage will do the same for the cause of Tradition

The stakes are high indeed. With the upcoming Synod and Synodality, changes in the liturgy have become intertwined with changes in doctrine. In liberalizing the Traditional Latin Mass, Pope Benedict XVI was motivated by something larger than a desire to accommodate liturgical preferences. Instead, as he put it, allowing the wide celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass was “a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.” That is, “[i]n the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.  What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” As he stated in a later interview, “It was important for me that the Church is one with herself inwardly, with her own past; that what was previously holy to her is not somehow wrong now.”

Pope Francis’s restrictions, in turn, appear motivated by an attempt to create a rupture in Catholic doctrine between the pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II era, to suggest that the Church now has a “new theology.” If the earlier form of the liturgy can be altogether prohibited, the reasoning seems to be, then any part of the Church can change radically.

Thus, we cannot grow complacent. We must guard and defend this treasure of the Church, the Traditional Latin Mass, not only to pass it down to our own children and grandchildren, but also so it can continue to serve as a powerful tool of evangelization for the entire Church. As the Pontifical Council for Culture stated in 2006, “Beauty, as much as truth and the good, leads us to God, the first truth, supreme good, and beauty itself.” Now, more than ever, we must hold firm to the traditions that have been handed down to us, and in particular the beauty and timelessness of the Traditional Latin Mass.

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