For Immediate Release - Latin Liturgy Association - The Socci Manifesto


Antonio Socci, Franco Zeffirelli and other European intellectuals have issued a document that has become known as The Socci Manifesto which supports the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI to foster frequent celebration of the traditional Latin Mass. The text of this Socci Manifesto appears in Latin and English at the end of this message. It emphasizes the historical and cultural values of the
traditional Latin Mass.

Our European friends have asked for expressions of support for the Manifesto. If you wish to join the thousands who want to lend their support to The Socci Manifesto, please send e-mail to:

The subject line should be: The Socci Manifesto (Edictum Antonii Socci)

You may compose your own text or use one of the suggested texts below:

“We express our praise for the decision of Benedict XVI to cancel the
prohibition of the ancient Mass in Latin according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, a great legacy of our culture, which must be saved and rediscovered.”

Please indicate on the e-mail your name, profession (optional), city
(optional) and country of residence. Anyone is most welcome to write.

I understand that these e-mails may ultimately be given to the Sovereign
Pontiff himself. Thank you for giving this long message your attention. Best wishes to each of you for a very happy Christmas and New Year!
Most cordially, Rudy Masciantonio

Dr. Rudolph Masciantonio
Chairman, Philadelphia Chapter, Latin Liturgy Association, Inc.
429 S. 20th St. #A
Philadelphia, PA 19146
215 732-6431

(The letter follows in the next post due to restrictions for individual posts. I ask that the moderators please do not remove these posts for they do not violate any rules and regulations of this forum.)


I wish to launch an appeal to the world of culture.
In support of a decision of Benedict XVI.
The announcement was given by Cardinal Arturo Medina Estevez, a member of the Ecclesia Dei commission which met to discuss the liberalization of the Latin Mass. The prelate said, “The publication of the Motu Proprio by the Pope which will liberalize the celebration of the Latin Mass according to the Missal of Saint Pius V is close.” It is an extraordinarily important event for the Church and even for the culture and history of our civilization. Historically, lay intellectuals were actually those to realize more and better the disaster, the actual cultural destruction, represented by the “prohibition” of the liturgy of Saint Pius V and the disappearance of Latin as sacred language of the
Catholic Church.

When, 40 years ago – in contravention to the documents of the Council – the prohibition of the ancient liturgy of the Church (that which had been celebrated even during the Council) was imposed, there was a great and meritorious protest by very important intellectuals who considered this decision as an attack on the roots of our Christian Civilization (the liturgy has always been a center and a fountain of the most sublime art). Two appeals were published in defense of the Mass of Saint Pius V, in 1966 and 1971. These are some of the names which undersigned them: Jorge Luís Borges, Giorgio De Chirico, Elena Croce, W. H. Auden, the directors Bresson and Dreyer, Augusto Del Noce, Julien Green, Jacques Maritain (who indeed was the favorite intellectual of Paul VI, the one to whom the Pope had given the letter to intellectuals at the end of the Council), Eugenio Montale, Cristina Campo, François Mauriac, Salvatore Quasimodo, Evelyn Waugh, Maria Zambrano, Elémire Zolla, Gabriel Marcel, Salvador De
Madariaga, Gianfranco Contini, Giacomo Devoto, Giovanni Macchia, Massimo Pallottino, Ettore Paratore, Giorgio Bassani, Mario Luzi, Guido Piovene, Andrés Segovia, Harold Acton, Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, and many others, incuding the editor of the “Times”, William Rees-Mogg.

They are largely lay intellectuals because the cultural and spiritual value
of the ancient Latin liturgy is a legacy of all, as is the Sistine Chapel, as
is the Gregorian [chant], as the great cathedrals, Gothic sculpture, the
Basilica of Saint Peter also are. Even more so today, when our entire European Civilization risks to cut off and deny its own roots.

Curiously, even “progressive Catholics”, which made the dialogue with the
world and with modern culture their banner, did not give any regard and fought for forty years to keep this incredible prohibition. An unprecedented arbitrariness. In April 2005, at the eve of the election of Benedict XVI, it was a lay writer, Guido Ceronetti, who writes, in La Repubblica, an open letter to the new Pope, in which he asked “that the sinister suffocating gag on the Latin voice of the Mass be removed”. When he was a cardinal, Ratzinger declared that the prohibition of the Mass of Saint Pius V was unprecedented: “throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the very spirit of the Church”. In one of his books, he retold dramatically how he had viewed the publication of the missal of Paul VI:
“I was dismayed by the prohibition of the old missal, since nothing of the
sort had ever happened in the entire history of the liturgy. The impression was even given that what was happening was quite normal,” but, Ratzinger wrote, “the prohibition of the missal that was now decreed, a missal that had known continuous growth over the centuries, starting with the sacramentaries of the ancient Church, introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic … the old building was demolished, and another was built.”



The effects were disastrous. The road to incredible abuses in the liturgy was opened. Ratzinger writes, “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us. But when the community of faith, the world-wide unity of the Church and her history, and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else, then, is the Church to become visible in her spiritual essence?”

That same Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who prepares to cancel the
prohibition, will find opposition even inside the Church (already pre-announced by the French bishops) and he deserves an answer from the world of culture which, forty years ago, made its voice heard. I ask intellectuals and whomever may wish to do so to sign this synthetic manifesto:

“We express our praise for the decision of Benedict XVI to cancel the
prohibition of the ancient Mass in Latin according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, a great legacy of our culture, which must be saved and rediscovered.”

Guido Ceronetti, René Girard, Antonio Socci, Vittorio Strada, Franco


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