Rome, August 30, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has greeted the recent decree of Pope Benedict XVI providing more freedom to celebrate the ancient Latin Mass.
The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that provides more freedom to use the pre-Vatican II Missal ‘is a positive fact,’ Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia said to comment on the Roman Catholic Church reintroducing her ancient liturgical form.
‘We strongly adhere to the tradition. Without being faithful to her liturgy the Russian Orthodox Church would have failed to survive persecutions in 1920s and 1930s,’ the Russian primate told the Italian daily Il Giornale a few days ago after celebration liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin.
The patriarch opined that the pope’s decision might contribute to establishing closer links with the Orthodox Churches, the daily said.
The obligatory Latin Mass was abolished by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) when the Roman Catholic Church legalized liturgical use of modern languages hoping to attract more people. But the results were far from ideal, and the reform led to a schism as Archbishop Marcel Lefevre refused to accept it an faced excommunication in 1988.