Traditionalist order is ready to return to Rome
By Anna Arco9 May 2008
A traditionalist community in Scotland has signalled that it is willing to engage in talks with Rome as a result of the Motu Proprio. The Transalpine Redemptorist Congregation on the remote Orkney island of Papa Stronsay have had informal talks with a Redemptorist bishop at the Vatican and will start speaking to the Ecclesia Dei Commission. Fr Anthony Mary, one of the monks, said the order wanted to "see what the commission has to offer and whether it's perfectly acceptable to us and what we stand for. We are traditional Catholics. We hold on to the old rite and we don't want to lose any of that."
After false rumours circulated on the internet which suggested the community had already returned to Rome the monks issued a lengthy statement explaining their position. The document said Pope Benedict XVI's liberalisation of the 1962 form of the Roman Rite with last year's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum put the order, which is affiliated with the Society of St Pius X, in a position where it must at least consider talks with Rome. It said: "All these serious considerations, dear friends, move us to go and see what Rome has to say. Let not our contacts with Rome be understood as meaning that we will break off our friendship with the Society of St Pius X and other traditionalist organisations around the world. On the contrary, we positively want with all our hearts to remain in contact sharing all that we may learn with Bishop Fellay and the other heads of traditional orders for the good of tradition as a whole."
Only time will tell if the moment has come for an agreement with Rome. Prudence requires of us to proceed slowly and cautiously, reflecting well at each step of the discussions. "The Transalpines have come under pressure from certain members of the SSPX, which last month rejected the possibility of a reunion with Rome. The order recalled three Brothers who were in training at an SSPX seminary after the rector of the seminary took the seminarians aside and suggested they form a break-away community in order to stop an agreement with Rome.
According to the Papa Stronsay blog, the superior, Fr Michael Mary, received an email from the Society which said that Transalpines would no longer be welcome in SSPX seminaries if the order reached an agreement with the Ecclesia Dei commission. "We have no desire to sling mud at people or give a bad name to people but sometimes in order to defend yourself you have to state exactly what happened two or three weeks ago," said Fr Anthony Mary.