We are with you, Holy Father!
Declaration on the use of the Traditional Liturgy
In light of ever more frequent statements of close associates of the Holy Father, who confirm his intention of restoring the right and freedom of use of the traditional liturgy in the Latin rite, as faithful laymen of the Roman Catholic Church we wish to express our hope and gratitude.
We would also like to affirm our solidarity with the Pope, mindful that for many years prior to taking up his seat as the Apostolic Successor of Saint Peter, he took up efforts to ensure that reverent liturgical forms passed on in a long tradition and confirmed officially by Saint Pius [V] "according to the rites and customs of the Roman Church" (Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, Pope St. Pius V, July 14th 1570) were preserved so as to "hand on this treasure for the Church of today and tomorrow" (Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressing liturgical conference, held over 22 to 24 July 2001, convened under the patronage of the Abbey of Fontgombault).
We understand the expected promotion of the traditional liturgy, otherwise termed the classical Roman rite, to involve the affirmation of the principle which is mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ratified by the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, which quotes the words of the Second Vatican Council: "that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity, and that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way." (CCC, 1203; Sacrosanctum Concilium, 4). The then-Cardinal Ratzinger also reminded us of this principle, stating that "the Council ordered a reform of the liturgical books, but it did not prohibit the former books." (Ten Years of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger).
Everything indicates that today we are progressing towards solutions which will bring these words into full daylight.
3. We dearly thank the Holy Father for all his gestures of understanding, openness, and respect regarding "the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition".
These gestures underscore and continue the line of action of John Paul II, who appealed to the Bishops and those exercising a pastoral ministry in the Church twenty years ago for "measures to guarantee respect for [the] rightful aspirations" expressed by "all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition" (John Paul II, motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, 5 c).
Mindful of all the difficulties and cares which are associated with the service of the shepherds of the Church, we expect that the regulations annouced by the Holy See will also serve to break the specific order of intolerance, which hinders the crucial internal unity in the Church. (See: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World).
4. Moreover, we hope that the response to this endeavor by Benedict XVI in the current discourse within the Church will include "every effort to avoid expressions, judgments and actions which do not represent with truth and fairness" the condition of those Catholics who are tied to the traditional liturgy (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 4).
We also hope that the granting of full rights of the use of the liturgy of Saint Pius V will improve the prospects of healing the rift which also took place in this context in 1988 and which lasts until this day, and for which, perhaps, "men of both sides were to blame" (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 3), partly due to the marginalization, within the Church, of "certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith" which "are no longer lived and loved" (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Speaking as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressing the National Conference of Chilean Bishops in Santiago). Let us pray that this wound be healed and that all Catholics who are already united by faith in the same dogmas will henceforth be able to enjoy the visible communion of the life of the Church.
5. In these days of expectation we therefore wish to join those voices of support and gratitude, which are already being directed toward the Holy Father by public figures in the Christian community, and we willingly hereby declare our support and gratitude to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for his will to remove the practical discrimination of the traditional liturgy, which has served throughout the ages as a worthy instrument for the sanctification of many and as a great monument of our spiritual culture.
Przemysław Alexandrowicz, senator
Prof. Jacek Bartyzel, political scientist
Dr Sławomir Cenckiewicz, historian
Prof. Jan Dzięgielewski, historian
Marcin Gugulski, journalist
Lech Jęczmyk, translator
Marek Jurek, Marshall of the Sejm (Speaker of the Parliament)
Bogusław Kiernicki, president of the Fundacja Św. Benedykta (St. Benedict Foundation)
Wojciech Kilar, composer
Aleksander Kopiński, historian and literary critic, editor of "Fronda"
Dr Jacek Kowalski, art historian, singer
Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, historian
Jan Filip Libicki, MP (Member of Parliament)
Marcin Libicki, MEP (Member of the European Parliament)
Paweł Lisicki, writer
Prof. Roman Michałowski, historian
Andrzej Mikosz, lawyer
Dr Paweł Milcarek, philosopher and journalist, editor in chief of "Christianitas"
Paweł Nowacki, deputy director of TVP1, author of documentaries
Dr Justyn Piskorski, university teacher
Ewa Polak-Pałkiewicz, journalist
Tomasz Raczkiewicz, artist of the Poznan Opera
Prof. Marcin Sompoliński, conductor, Akademia Muzyczna in Poznan
Dr Piotr Sosiński, lawyer
Konrad Szymański, MEP
Prof. Kazimierz Świrydowicz, mathematician
Dr Tomasz P. Terlikowski, philosopher, journalist at Polskapresse
Jacek Tomczak, MP
Prof. Piotr Tryjanowski, biologist
Artur Zawisza, MP