Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Una Voce conference in Rome
I am now back from Rome, where I attended the biannual meeting of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, FIUV, the supra-national federation of groups like the Latin Mass Society, of which the LMS is a member.
The 'business' part of the meeting took place on the afternoon of Saturday 13th, and for the first time FIUV was able to organise a Mass for delegates that morning in St Peter's Basilica. It was scheduled for the chapel of St Joseph, but for various reasons we ended up having it in the Chapel of the Presentation of Our Lady, under whose altar lies the mortal remains of St Pius X - it is often called the 'chapel of St Pius X'. Although there are fewer seats in this chapel (which we overflowed), the symbolism was very pleasing.
The celebrant was Monsignor Collino, Maestro of the Julian Choir at St Peter's, who successfully resisted an attempt to replace Latin Vespers in St Peter's with the vernacular.
Near the tomb of St Pius X is the monument to the Stuarts; King Henry IX, the younger brother of Bonnie Prince Charlie, being a Cardinal. It always gives me a jolt to see the Royal Coat of Arms in St Peter's; I associate it so much with Anglican churches and the pomp of the Anglican state. It is good to be reminded of Britain's Catholic identity.
After lunch, we had our business meeting, at which the President of FIUV, Leo Darroch (an LMS member and honorary Vice President) was unanimously re-elected for another two-year term of office.
I was myself co-opted onto FIUV's Council at the new Council's meeting later in the afternoon. This is FIUV's equivalent of a governing committee, which looks after things between meetings. The Council's discussions take place mainly by email, since its members are naturally from all over the world.
One of the most heartening things announced at the meeting was that, since the previous meeting two years ago FIUV has accepted requests for membership by no fewer than six new associations: from Chile, Peru, Mexico, Columbia, Malta and Ireland. Each country can have up to three FIUV affiliates, but most of these associations represent countries which have never had associations before. It is particularly interesting to see the Spanish-speaking world coming to the table, and a great deal of work from FIUV's Spanish members has gone into this. FIUV now has members from 31 different countries, including India, Russia, and Nigeria.
A important part of the meeting is the opportunity to meet other delegates. I was particularly pleased to have made such disparate contacts as with delegates from New Zealand, Mexico and Spain, America, Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland.