On June 8, Fr. Joseph Kramer, of the Society of Saint Peter, officially took office as parish priest of Santa Trinita dei Pellegrini. Indeed, in accordance with article 10 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and after receiving the proposal from Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope’s vicar for the diocese of Rome, Benedict XVI decided that in downtown Roma, the church of Santa Trinita dei Pellegrini was to be erected into a personal parish, “so as to answer the pastoral needs of the whole community of traditional faithful residing in the said diocese.”
A press release from the Society of Saint Peter, dated May 7, said: “It is hoped that this particular parish will serve not only the local parishioners, but that it will also provide a fine example of the beauty and solemnity of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite to the many pilgrims and students in Rome.”
In his Letter to Friends of the Society of Saint Peter of May 2008, Fr. John Berg, the superior general, rejoiced that Rome, “the heart of the Church”, was the first diocese in Europe to entrust a personal parish to the Society of Saint Peter.
But the Motu Proprio must be read at the light of the letter to bishops which accompanied it and stated that “in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books.” Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos reminded them of this, on May 30, 2008, during the ordination ceremony of four priests of the Society of St. Peter in Lincoln (Nebraska, USA) in the presence of Fr. John Berg.
In his homily he said: “As President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei I have particular interest in these young men who will celebrate the Holy sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments primarily according to the liturgical books of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite which is a treasure for the entire Church. This obviously meets a desire on the part of a good number of the faithful. While I am pleased to promote our Holy Father’s will expressed in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and invite in implementing this important document I also invite my dear sons and brothers to strive to be an integral part of the dioceses in which you will serve; brothers of your brother priests showing deep respect for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, concelebrating with your bishops at the Chrismal Mass and when this sign of priestly communion is specially appropriate.” (Sources: Zenit/Apic)