Ten years after Benedict XVI broadened access to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, the document by which he did so is being hailed as a means of closing the rift of division following liturgical changes made after the Second Vatican Council.

“Sometimes there are these polemics, but I think Benedict tried to overcome these polemics, saying that even in the liturgy there is a certain progress … but clearly in full continuity with the tradition of the Church,” Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, OP, told CNA May 31.

Tensions were heightened after the Second Vatican Council’s reforms, and “unfortunately these situations of contrast, of opposition are created” even today, Fr. Nuara said.  

In light of this situation, Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which widened access to the pre-Vatican II liturgy, “was not an instrument to divide” or throw further fuel on the flames, he said.

Rather, “it was an instrument to unite. To unite, and to bring again that ecclesial peace that’s needed in this time.”

“I see it as a positive instrument, not negative,” Fr. Nuara said. “It’s not an instrument for going backwards. It’s an instrument to reconnect ourselves in continuity” with different ecclesial styles.

Fr. Nuara is president of the association “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and founder and spiritual assistant of the “Youth and Tradition” association.

He is also one of the organizers of an upcoming Sept. 14-17 pilgrimage marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, and spoke to journalists at a working breakfast on the event. 

Titled “Summorum Pontificum: A renewed youth for the Church,” the pilgrimage is being organized by the “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and “Youth and Tradition” associations in partnership with the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum.

Speaking of the title in comments to journalists, Fr. Nuara noted that a “truly surprising” phenomenon is that the “true protagonists” of this new “season of the Church … are the youth.”

In his letter accompanying the motu proprio, Benedict had noted that while “it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.”

“Benedict XVI already in 2007 was aware that the new recipients of this liturgy, loved, desired and also sought, were the youth,” Fr. Nuara said.

Pope Francis has also commented on the fact that many of the enthusiasts for the Traditional Latin Mass are young people who never knew it growing up, but encountered it later.  

“Youth can’t be nostalgic for something they didn’t know,” Fr. Nuara said, adding that “this is very nice, because by experience I can say that the youth who draw near to the ancient liturgy of the Church love it” for the reverence and silence of the celebration.

In celebrating the ancient form, “you really understand who is at the center, who the protagonist is,” the priest said, noting that “youth understand very well that this liturgy speaks of … the essential truth of the faith.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.