Tridentine priests seek Toronto parish

By 
  • May 21, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - A priestly fraternity dedicated to preservation of the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass is seeking permission to set up a parish in Toronto.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has proposed to Archbishop Thomas Collins that the order would create a parish served by two priests offering all the sacraments according to the 1962 Missale Romanum. The Toronto personal parish would also serve as a base for the fraternity’s work in the dioceses of St. Catharines and London.


“We would like to run a full church with full parochial life and all of the sacraments and everything else. We’re kind of waiting on that,” Fr. John Berg, Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Superior General, told The Catholic Register.

“We’re kind of in an in-between stage, waiting to hear from (Collins).”

The Rome-approved Tridentine-rite priests have had Fr. Howard Venette stationed at Holy Cross Church in Toronto’s east end over the last year, offering Mass regularly at St. Theresa’s Church.

Since Pope Benedict XVI issued his 2007 Motu Propriu giving permission for more regular use of the old Latin Mass the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has found itself in more demand and has had an easier time setting up parishes. Last year the FSSP priests were granted a personal parish in downtown Rome.

“We always seek to set up parishes because the parish is a place in which the parish priest is the bridge in between those faithful and their bishop, who is their shepherd,” said Berg. “In that way, it really shows the strong tie between the bishop and their pastor, and it shows the normal structure of the diocese.”

Berg accepts that reintroduction of the pre-Vatican II Mass is still controversial.

“We recognize that we do something outside of the norm, and any time you do that you kind of walk in with two heads,” he said. “We have to make sure that we’re available to all the priests of the diocese and make sure we talk to them and let them know what we do — to show them that what’s being done is not a sort of parallel structure being set up within the diocese but it’s an aspect of the liturgical life of the church.”

The priestly fraternity does its best to keep away from the kind of controversy and negative talk found on some Catholic blogs dedicated to debate over liturgy, Berg said.

“The blogging controversies are the blogging controversies — you know, the positive and negative aspects of the Internet,” he said.

If the FSSP can’t set up a personal parish in Toronto the Tridentine priests will try to train other priests to offer the old Mass.

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