Photo Credit: Emanuele Capoferri
They are Italian women, drawn to the beauty of the Latin Mass. Laura is 22; Marcella is 56. Both journeyed to Rome from their wide-flung regions for the golden October days of Summorum Pontificum 2015. While they were there, the Synod on the Family convened, where the Church’s hierarchy discussed how Catholic women like Laura and Marcella were to live their lives. Here’s what they saw, and what they had to say.
MARCELLA: My impression of Rome in these days was great in part because the weather was fantastic – it was sunny for all the three days I was there, unusual in late October.
LAURA: In my opinion, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
MARCELLA: I felt the universality of Catholicism strongly.
MARCELLA: This was the first time I went to the pilgrimage “Summorum Pontificum.”
LAURA: Taking part at the Summorum Pontificum was a great spiritual experience, because now I have seen the beauty of the Vetus Ordo Liturgy within the beauty of Rome.
MARCELLA: I was positively amazed due to the huge number of pilgrims, who came to Rome from all over the world — the most part of whom were young people or families with small children.
LAURA: At the Pilgrimage I noticed the presence of great numbers of young families, usually with small children.
LAURA: It made me think that these families wanted to get their children accustomed to the Beauty, so that they will be able to appreciate it.
MARCELLA: People who attended the Pilgrimage were all strongly praying and hoping — with great participation of many young people who love the Tridentine Mass!
LAURA: I saw everywhere people who actively participated at the Pilgrimage's events.
LAURA: They all were greatly enthusiastic, and I noticed that the reality is in sharp contrast to the stereotype which says that the Traditional Rite is an old, dusty kind of liturgy which has been outdated by the new forms — for example, “hippie Masses”, with rock hymns.
CARDINAL WALTER KASPER ARRIVES AT SAINT PETER’S EARLY IN THE MORNING
LAURA: Even though I saw the Cardinals and the Bishops who were attending the Synod while I was in Square of St. Peter, I did not talk to any of them.
MARCELLA: Unfortunately I could not talk to any of them.
LAURA: Unfortunately the Italian media did not cover the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage at all. I really think they should talk about this, so that more and more people may join the pilgrimage next year.
MARCELLA: The Italian media, except for some blogs and social media, have completely ignored Summorum Pontificum. They focused only on the Synod, which ended on the same day.
LAURA: I do not think that the Synod focused on issues that are important to me, a young woman. I know this year's Synod was concerned mainly the question of the Communion ban for those who are divorced and remarried. I am not married, so these issues are not so significant for me.
LAURA: On the other hand, I know these issues are very important for the Church, which should make clear that a person's worth does not depend on whether he or she is allowed to receive Communion. In the last decades the Church has focused more on Communion than on the other Sacraments, and for that reason people regard Holy Communion as if it is “the” Sacrament — meanwhile there are six other Sacraments which are not less important.
MARCELLA: The Italian media make the people believe that it is Pope Francis who has made possible a ‘renewal’ in the Catholic Church, due to his permissiveness towards Progressivist positions.
LAURA: I feel as if the Italian press is not giving a fair report about what happened at the Synod.
LAURA: I do not know what exactly did happen, but I think there has been media manipulation – a thing which sadly happens regularly in our country.
MARCELLA: In my opinion, people are unaware of the Synod's results. I can say I am somewhat anxious, since they feel that the one who will decide is Pope Francis. He is basically an absolute ruler and this allows him to make decisions autonomously. That is why I am so worried.