The Transalpine Redemptorists pictured with Bishop Peter Moran of Aberdeen (Photo: Brother Martin)
Mark Greaves visits traditionalists in Orkney who are about to enter into full communion with Rome after decades of estrangement
By Mark Greaves
Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, was an attempt to end decades of division over liturgy: to bring the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), and all the groups affiliated with it, back into the Church. The older Latin Mass, the Pope said, had never been outlawed; it was, in fact, the “same rite” as the newer Mass, the Novus Ordo. The Church must make “every effort” to achieve unity, he said, adding: “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”
Negotiations with the SSPX have indeed begun, yet so far no traditionalist group has taken up the Pope’s call – except, that is, for one small community based on a tiny, windswept island in Orkney.
The community, known as the Transalpine Redemptorists, have paid a heavy price for their decision. Four brothers and two priests have left, and about 1,000 supporters in Britain have broken off contact with them – only one or two families are still in touch.
They have not been ecstatically welcomed, either. It is more than two years since they first approached Rome, yet they are still waiting for their bishop, Bishop Peter Moran of Aberdeen, to grant them legal status within the Church...