Cardinal Jean Pierre Ricard, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, said this week the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI “is intended for Catholics faithful to the Pope and respectful of the authority of the Council (Vatican II) and who desire to use the 1962 Missal.”
In noting that “the ancient liturgy has nourished the faith of the faithful during centuries and can still do so today,” Cardinal Ricard said Vatican II was not a “break” but rather a continuation of the tradition of the Church. He stressed that by issuing the document, Pope Benedict is calling on “the council faithful and the traditionalists to begin a journey towards reconciliation and communion.”
The Pope greatly desires “the unity of Catholics, he wants to favor reconciliation and reconcile the Church with her liturgical past. It’s also a gesture towards the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre, but the Pope knows that in this case the differences are not only liturgical,” the cardinal said.
He emphasized that the “Missal of 1970 remains the ordinary form of celebration. This is not bi-ritualism but rather one rite that can be celebrated in two ways. For most Catholics nothing will change,” the cardinal stated.