Statement from the Benedictines of the Immaculate

“The Congregation for Divine Worship is not all-powerful”

La Congrégation pour le culte divin n’a pas tout pouvoir

Regarding the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes of July 16, 2021 and the response to the dubia by the Congregation for Divine Worship promulgated on December 18:

We, the Benedictine monks of the Immaculate, of the Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena in Taggia, founded on August 1, 2008, by Bishop Mario Oliveri, erected as an Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right on March 21, 2017, and transferred to the Diocese of Ventimiglia-Sanremo on November 18, 2020, by decree of the Bishop of the diocese, Monsignor Antonio Suetta, have promised to be faithful to our Constitutions, which have been approved by the Holy See and under which we have taken the sacred vows of religion. In particular, as stated in the Prologue of said Constitutions, we have committed ourselves before God and the Church to always keep “as [our] proper rite, both outside and inside the monastery, the liturgy of the Mass celebrated according to the more than one thousand year old form of the Holy Roman Church, which was ‘never abrogated’ (motu proprio Summorum Pontificum), with its Latin language and Gregorian chant.”

This solemn commitment includes the use of the ancient Roman ritual and pontifical, as evidenced by the ordination ceremonies performed since our foundation. We do all this out of fidelity to “the ‘canons’ of the rite definitively fixed at [the Council of Trent, which] provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery [of the Mass].”[1] As Archbishop Antonio Suetta publicly stated on television on August 24, 2021, we are “the guardians and witnesses of the most ancient Tradition of the Church.” It is thus and not otherwise that we will remain faithful, whatever the cost.

Through the intercession of the Immaculate Blessed Virgin Mary, may the Supreme Pontiff be enlightened in his function as Vicar of Christ, so that the Catholic faith in its purity and the traditional liturgy that guarantees it may once again shine, before the eyes of the world and for the salvation of souls, and that all the assaults of error and corruption against the Holy Church may be defeated.

21st December 2021
St. Thomas the Apostle

The prior, Father Jean de Belleville was interviewed in Présent. Extract :

[…] We must not delude ourselves, both the motu proprio and the response to the dubia show a desire to suppress the use of the old rite in the more or less near future. The position of the traditional communities will not be weakened so much by Rome’s violent dispositions as by a lack of firmness in the faith that is as expressed in the Church’s traditional doctrine and worship. This firmness may require one to reject gravely unjust orders from members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, because the faith is first and fundamental.

By your statutes, to whom do you owe obedience—within the Church militant—in the area of the liturgy?

Competence belongs to the Congregation for Divine Worship, but it is not all-powerful, as Benedict XVI demonstrates in his own words: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”[2]

What was the reaction of the bishop of your diocese?

All our friends say that our bishop is the best of the Italian bishops, because of his spirit of faith and his gentleness. After the motu proprio, he publicly recognized our right to use the traditional rite of the Mass.

When you say in your December 21 message that you will remain faithful to the traditional liturgy “whatever it takes,” what do you envision happening?

If, God forbid, Rome forces us to go against our Constitutions, what shall we choose: to be obedient to Rome and therefore become renegades, or to be faithful to our vows and consequently be condemned as “disobedient”? The answer is clear!

About the Benedictines of the Immaculate

Our Benedictine community of strict observance, founded by two monks from the Abbey of Le Barroux (France), was founded on July 2, 2008, in Villatalla in Liguria, in the diocese of Bishop Oliveri of Albenga-Imperia. It later moved to the former Capuchin convent of Taggia, even closer to the French border, where it was officially welcomed by Bishop Antonio Suetta of Ventimiglia-Sanremo on August 24, 2019.

We practice the traditional liturgy both inside and outside the monastery.

Article source: Le Salon Beige
Link to original text of the statement

[1] Letter of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to Paul VI (Source)

[2] Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the bishops on the occasion of the publication of the apostolic letter “motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 (Source)

4 thoughts on “Statement from the Benedictines of the Immaculate

  1. These holy monks, though their lives be hidden, are a blessed inspiration to us who love Mother Church and understand clearly the dangers that presently assail her. Their fidelity and fortitude are a sacrificial prayer to Our Lord to protect and strengthen His Church and people. We will NEVER abandon our faith and traditions. Blessed Mother shelter us under Thy holy mantle.


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