Una Voce Federation Confirms TLM Ban at Knights of Malta Violates Summorum Pontificum

The International Una Voce Federation (FIUV) is an organization that seeks “to foster the cultural heritage of the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church upon which so much of European culture, music, art, literature and architecture has been built and nourished.” Their “principal aims are to ensure that the traditional Roman rite of the Church is maintained in the Church as one of the forms of liturgical celebration, and to safeguard and promote the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony and all the sacred, artistic, literary and musical traditions of the Roman Church in all their beauty and integrity.”
And today, they have issued a letter in regards to the unfortunate and ill-advised directive of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta seeking to suppress any usage of the Vetus Ordo in the official liturgies of the Order. The letter speaks for itself, and we provide it without further commentary below.

Rome, June 13, 2019

The FIUV notes with regret the letter, dated 10th June, from Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (the ‘Order of Malta’), forbidding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (the Extraordinary Form) in the context of the Order’s liturgical life.

Since this letter has become public, we would like to observe that it does not accurately present the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Article 3, cited in the Grand Master’s letter, explicitly allows religious communities to have not only private but conventual celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form, without reference to the Major Superior (in the case of the Order of Malta, the Grand Master or the Prelate). His permission is required only in cases where the community ‘wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently’.

The Grand Master’s letter also neglects the right of the faithful, from which the religious and lay members of the Order of Malta are not excluded, from requesting celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Article 4). Celebrations in the context of special occasions such as pilgrimages are explicitly anticipated (Article 5 §3). Pastors and rectors of churches are directed to accede to such requests (Article 5, §1 and §5).

The Federation would like to emphasise that the Extraordinary Form is a part of the liturgical patrimony of the Church which represents ‘riches’ for the Church, which should not be neglected or excluded, and certainly not on the basis of a narrow conception of unity which excludes the variety of liturgical expressions permitted in the Church. As Pope Benedict expressed it:

‘These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi(rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.’ (Summorum Pontificum, Preamble)

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce
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