On the homepage of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) website, under the heading, “Our abiding mission…” is a 1970 statement attributed to Dr. Erich Vermehren de Saventhem, the organization’s founding President. It reads:
It is vitally important that these new priests and religious, these new young people with ardent hearts, should find — if only in a corner of the rambling mansion of the Church — the treasure of a truly sacred liturgy still glowing softly in the night. And it is our task – since we have been given the grace to appreciate the value of this heritage — to preserve it from spoliation, from becoming buried out of sight, despised and therefore lost forever. It is our duty to keep it alive: by our own loving attachment, by our support for the priests who make it shine in our churches, by our apostolate at all levels of persuasion…
Already in 1970, just seven months after the Novus Ordo Missae had become “obligatory” (“applicazione obbligatoria” to quote Paul VI, Audience of 19 November 1969), the Founder and President of FIUV, an association of laity, had already conceded that the true Mass, at the hands of the reigning Pontiff, may very well be destined to occupy no more than “a corner of the rambling mansion of the Church.”
One notes the degree to which this well-intentioned man had essentially redefined the true nature of both the Church and the papacy in order to fit the dreadful circumstances of his day, rather than simply allowing unchanging Catholic doctrine to illuminate them. Had he chosen the latter course of action, some uncomfortable truths would have come to light.
You see, the one true Church of Christ could never treat the Mass of Ages as a bone of contention, much less relegate the venerable rite to a mere “corner.” Any society that does so simply cannot be “the rambling mansion of the Church,” rather, it must a fortification of the enemy, intent on attacking her. This point evidently was lost on Dr. Vermehren.
Pope St. Pius X tells us that “the general scope of the liturgy is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful” (cf Tra le Sollecitudini). In other words, the liturgy is part and parcel of the Church’s very purpose, and it is to this end that she is guided by the Holy Ghost.
In his Encyclical, Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII teaches:
The sacred liturgy is, consequently, the public worship which our Redeemer as Head of the Church renders to the Father, as well as the worship which the community of the faithful renders to its Founder, and through Him to the heavenly Father. It is, in short, the worship rendered by the Mystical Body of Christ in the entirety of its Head and members.
No, it is not the laity’s “duty” to keep the Traditional Latin Mass “alive,” as Dr. Vermehren suggests; the sacred liturgy of the Church is alive because Christ Our Lord and His Mystical Body are alive. The Church always has, and always will, preserve the true Mass from spoliation, keep it from becoming buried out of sight, despised and therefore lost, even if, in His inscrutable wisdom, Our Lord allows evil men to persecute those who offer it, love it and seek to assist at it.
As Bellarmine notes with acumen and accuracy, this appellation of the Body of Christ is not to be explained solely by the fact that Christ must be called the Head of His Mystical Body, but also by the fact that He so sustains the Church, and so in a certain sense lives in the Church, that she is, as it were, another Christ … Herein we find the reason why, according to the opinion of Augustine already referred to, the mystical Head, which is Christ, and the Church, which here below as another Christ shows forth His person, constitute one new man, in whom heaven and earth are joined together in perpetuating the saving work of the Cross: Christ We mean, the Head and the Body, the whole Christ. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis) [Emphasis added]
To even suggest that the Vicar of Christ, His representative on earth, and the Holy Roman Catholic Church at his behest, are acting in such a way as to suppress the Traditional Latin Mass, the holiness of which is absolutely incontestable, is simply untenable; it’s like saying that Jesus Christ is at war with Himself.
In his defense, however, we must acknowledge that Dr. Vermehren, who died in 2005, was speaking in the very earliest days of the liturgical crisis, while those of us who are looking back on these events have the benefit of greater perspective. With this in mind, let us fast forward some four decades, to May of 2012 to be exact, and to an FIUV “Position Paper” entitled, “Liturgical Pluralism and the Extraordinary Form.” It states:
The existence of an ‘extraordinary form’ of the Roman Rite has come about by historical contingency, and it may be thought that, in the medium or long term, the ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ forms should in some way be amalgamated.
Evidently, FIUV is against such a blending of the two rites, or what others might call “mutual enrichment.” So far so good, but the Paper continues:
The existence of liturgical pluralism in the Church, both in East and West, has never, however, been regarded as an embarrassment, but rather a sign of vitality.
Yes, you read that correctly, FIUV is implying that the Novus Ordo, the so-called “ordinary form,” is praiseworthy inasmuch as it creates a “liturgical plurality” that contributes to the Church’s “vitality.”
Then it goes from bad to worse:
This is emphatically confirmed by several documents of the Second Vatican Council and the subsequent magisterium. The ‘ideal’ of liturgical diversity demonstrates, rather than undermines, unity of faith, since different liturgical forms incarnate the faith for different conditions, emphasise different theological insights, and have a role to play in promoting the unity of the Church.
Not only does FIUV cite Vatican Council II as if it can be trusted as a reliable source of clarity in matters liturgical, it even goes so far as to imply that the Novus Ordo offers unique “theological insights” of its own, and that its presence alongside the one true Roman Rite somehow contributes to the “unity of the Church.”
Even as late as 2012, had it not dawned on FIUV that one of the primary characteristics of the Novus Ordo – with its charismatic masses, its “inculterated” masses, its homo-masses, etc. – is disunity of faith?
But what can be said of FIUV today? Surely the antics of “Francis” have caused the scales to fall from their eyes, yes?
Well, no, actually.
As I write, the most prominent feature on the Federation’s homepage is a “Declaration” dated July 4, 2021, entitled, “Living the faith, living the future: The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite,” a text presumably written in response to rumors that “Francis” is about to restrict or otherwise amend Summorum Pontificum. FIUV paid to have the Declaration published as an advertisement in what appears to be Bergoglio’s favorite Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica.
The Declaration begins:
The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), founded in 1965, brings together associations of the lay faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite (the Traditional Latin Mass).
In both its title and first sentence, the Declaration reaffirms the utterly preposterous notion that the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass are merely two “forms” of the same Roman Rite. It’s a wonder that anyone of a traditional bent, however slight, thought the idea plausible back in 2007 when Summorum Pontificum was initially published, but now some fourteen years later? The idea is laughable, and it’s to their everlasting embarrassment that FIUV is so determined to embrace it.
The concluding sentence of the FIUV Declaration, however, says it all:
Today we only wish to be part of that “great orchestra” of “unity in variety” which, as Pope Francis said (General Audience of 9 October 2013), reflects the true catholicity of the Church. The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum continues to transform the conflicts of the past into harmony: long may it to continue to do so.
It is true, Summorum Pontificum is really nothing more than an attempt to harmonize the doctrinally impure, anthropocentric, “Lord’s Supper” (aka the Novus Ordo Missae) with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as offered in the Traditional Roman Rite. The International Federation Una Voce could not have spoken more plainly about its mission; its “only wish” is to pretend that this harmonization of good and evil is actually possible.
So, for whom does Una Voce speak?
You may answer for yourself, dear reader, but let me be perfectly clear, it most definitely does not speak for me.