So the cardinal decided to keep everything as it was — except to find another non-parish church — allowing the faithful to attend the Traditional Latin Mass.
Indeed, Zuppi emphasized that “the liturgical tradition has given an unmistakable mark to our local Church. It is a garden to be cultivated with renewed love and passion without ever resigning ourselves to weariness and laziness, which — even when they do not degenerate into abuses — end up weakening the formidable strength of the liturgy from which the Church is born and always is built.”
Zuppi’s decision should not come as a surprise, considering that as a bishop, he also accepted invitations to celebrate the TLM.
His participation in this year’s Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage was to be expected.
Recently, Zuppi also visited the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) in Gricigliano, near Florence.
The ICKSP also celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, and Zuppi was reportedly impressed by the many seminarians.
While an experienced pastor and much-respected bishop, Zuppi is not considered a “traditionalist” or “conservative” and is known for his active support of the Community of Sant’Egidio.
His tendency to act as a builder of bridges is also noticeable in a fragmented College of Cardinals.
Pope Francis appointed Zuppi as a member of the Dicastery of the Eastern Churches. He is already a member of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The archbishop of Bologna, therefore, increases his duties in the Curia, becoming a member of a very important dicastery.
Do all these moves make Zuppi a candidate for the succession of Pope Francis? That is idle speculation. How the cardinal-electors might decide in a possible conclave remains to be seen.
The only tangible fact is that Zuppi does not want to be divisive. Instead, he is building bridges — which might yet prove to be an essential role in a Church marred by tensions and divisions.
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Andrea Gagliarducci is an Italian journalist for Catholic News Agency and Vatican analyst for ACI Stampa. He is a contributor to the National Catholic Register.