Interview with official spokesman for International Pilgrimage to Rome 'Pro Summorum Pontificum'
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, 3rd November, 2012, Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, as the culmination of the International Pilgrimage organised by the Coetus Internationalis pro 'Summorum Pontificum' to bring together all those who support 'Summorum Pontificum' in a public gesture of support for Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Year of Faith and for the fifth anniversary of 'Summorum Pontificum'. Thomas Murphy, Secretary of FIUV is the official spokesman for the International Pilgrimage and the CISP. He recently gave the following interview:
Thomas Murphy, you're the official spokesperson of Coetus Internationalis pro Summorum Pontificum: What is the purpose of this committee?
The Coetus Internationalis brings together various groups of faithful who are working in their own way in support of Summorum Pontificum. To unite those groups in charity and to work in co-operation is our first purpose. The focus of the Coetus Internationalis is to organize a pilgrimage to Rome in early November.
We are taking the opportunity of the Holy Year of Faith and the 5th Anniversary of ‘Summorum Pontificum’ to invite associations, groups and movements of the faithful from across Europe and the World to join us in Rome for an expression of support for the Holy Father and to give thanks for the Pope’s Magna Carta liberating the Gregorian Rite. This is our invitation to all the faithful to affirm our Catholic Faith and our fidelity to the Roman Pontiff, to express our belief that traditional Latin liturgy is a perfect instrument of the New Evangelization, including by its appeal to the young and its universality.
The pilgrimage will culminate in a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 3rd November, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the beating heart of the Catholic World.
What are the movements adhering to the initiative?
The list of movements is growing almost daily. We intend to produce an initial list at the official launch of the pilgrimage on 10th September but some movements merit particular mention. I speak also as the Secretary of the International Federation “Una Voce”, which has given its strong support to the Coetus Internationalis. Member Associations of our Federation across five continents, especially Una Voce Italia, have been active in the work of the Coetus Internationalis.
An excellent new initiative has been the Coetus Nationalis pro Summorum Pontificum (CNSP), drawing together groups and organizations on the Italian peninsula including some of our Una Voce associations. The CNSP has been a bedrock of the Coetus Internationalis.
I would also like to give honoured mention to the very experienced and recognized French association Notre-Dame-de- Chrétienté, organizer of the annual Chartres pilgrimage and the Foederatio Internationalis Juventutem, the International Federation of Young People in support of Summorum Pontificum, a well-known sight at World Youth Day, that have confirmed their adherence to the Coetus Internationalis in recent days.
The support of all of these groups and movements is essential if we are to achieve our purpose of creating a unity of charity and co-operation among the supporters of Summorum Pontificum, and especially in expressing our thanks for Summorum Pontificum and our fidelity to the Roman Pontiff during the pilgrimage to Rome in November. I repeat that invitation to any group supporting Summorum Pontificum to register in support of the Coetus Internationalis.
Do you have any other details on the progress of pilgrimage, such as example, the name of the celebrant?
We are working as actively as the summer break, sacrosanct in Rome, will allow. The name of the celebrant will be announced at the official launch in September. In addition to the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, we invite each group that joins us to hold a ceremony or gathering of their own in Rome during that weekend of All Saints. To this end, our chaplain, Abbé Claude Barthe, author of numerous books and articles on liturgical matters, will liaise with groups of pilgrims and with clergy who will be in Rome on this occasion. Anyone interested can already contact our Secretariat at the address firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com.
You launch the pilgrimage officially on 10th September, barely eight weeks prior to the Mass on 3rd November. Time is short. How many pilgrims do you expect to make the trip to Rome?
It is true that the deadlines are short. However, much work has been done by the Coetus Internationalis discreetly over many months. The estimates that I have seen give a range of between 3,000 to 4,000 pilgrims from around the world.
You mentioned that you are also Secretary of the FIUV? What role has FIUV played in this pilgrimage and what place does this pilgrimage have in the activities of the FIUV?
As the oldest organization of laity working for the preservation of the Traditional Latin Liturgy, the International Federation “Una Voce” was involved from the beginning in this. Our network of Associations and Federations in 33 Countries across five Continents places great emphasis upon working in co-operation and within a unity of charity. It was natural that FIUV would be an early and steadfast supporter of the Coetus Internationalis.
Our Federation comes to Rome every two years for a General Assembly of Members but we were anxious to make a special effort to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum and to demonstrate our fidelity to the Pope during the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage to Rome in November will be an ideal opportunity to do as Catholics have always done, to make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles, and to publicly declare their fidelity to the Pope.
Where the Coetus Internationalis is different, and what should appeal to everyone who supports Summorum Pontificum, is its freedom from division. It is a simple act of love on the part of many souls in many Catholic movements that seeks to include everyone in our visible expression of Faith, of thanks and of fidelity. To all those who share our Catholic Faith, who share our gratitude for Summorum Pontificum, who share our fidelity to the Holy Father, and to all those who listen to my words I say: Come with us to Rome!
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